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Ask RiotACT: Pet rabbit deaths

By MissChief - 7 December 2015 27

Ask RiotACT

In the past week we’ve lost 3 of our 4 very healthy pet rabbits suddenly, and are aware of another instance of 4 pets rabbits being lost suddenly 3 weeks ago.

Has anyone else had this happen to them recently?

Is it possible the ACT Government has recently released calicivirus near the suburban areas of Tuggeranong without consultation or notice to residents?  Tracking down the relevant Government webpage only reveals information from a few years ago.

What’s Your opinion?


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27 Responses to
Ask RiotACT: Pet rabbit deaths
dungfungus 1:37 pm 09 Dec 15

Nilrem said :

BooUrns said :

I think a map would be a great idea, our vet said a few months ago that it was confirmed in Goulburn 6 months ago so it spreads fast we had all ours double doesd just recently. We will probably start leaving our shoes outside as you only need to walk up Mt Taylor or go for a walk along the tails were the wild bunnies live and you could potentialy bring it inside.

Hope they do find a vaccine and politcs stays out of it, one can only imagine the outccry if everyones dogs or cats started dropping.

Good luck all

Does it affect guinea pigs?

I’ll let you know.

Nilrem 10:17 am 09 Dec 15

BooUrns said :

I think a map would be a great idea, our vet said a few months ago that it was confirmed in Goulburn 6 months ago so it spreads fast we had all ours double doesd just recently. We will probably start leaving our shoes outside as you only need to walk up Mt Taylor or go for a walk along the tails were the wild bunnies live and you could potentialy bring it inside.

Hope they do find a vaccine and politcs stays out of it, one can only imagine the outccry if everyones dogs or cats started dropping.

Good luck all

Does it affect guinea pigs?

Charlotte Harper 5:37 pm 08 Dec 15

OK I have found out a bit more about that via a press release I hadn’t received last month. The program you’re talking about is not using calicivirus there but fumigation and shooting:

The ACT Government is advising visitors to Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve that closing hours for the Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary will be extended for a two week period starting next week to allow for the ongoing program to control rabbit and hare populations.

“The Sanctuary will be closed from 1 am to 8 am on Monday 30 November 2015. It will then be closed 6 pm to 8 am nightly from the evening of Monday 30 November 2015 to the morning of Friday 4 December 2015,” Ranger-in-Charge, Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary, Mark Sweaney, said.

“These closures will be repeated the following week from 1 am to 8 am on Monday 7 December 2015, and then 6 pm to 8 am nightly from the evening of Monday 7 December 2015 to the morning of Friday 10 December 2015.

“The control program involves shooting and fumigation methods undertaken by highly qualified ACT Government rangers. This is a jointly funded program between the Capital Woodlands and Wetlands Conservation Trust and the ACT Government, and is an essential component of our scheduled control program.

“The program allows our rangers to actively search for rabbits and hares and to reassess previously controlled locations. Since the formation of the Sanctuary in 2009, the ACT Government has been actively controlling feral pest species. The most recent monitoring results indicate that the rabbit numbers are currently at an extremely low level, a testament to our control efforts over the years.

Mr Sweaney said operations will cease over the Christmas and New Year’s break meaning the sanctuary will be open at all times to the public between the dates of Friday 18 December 2015 through to Monday 4 January 2016 when the program will recommence.

Notification signage is in place at all public entrances to the reserve to alert people to the closure. As this is an ongoing project, the public will be notified if further work is done in the area.

For enquiries on the Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary rabbit and hare control program please call Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

BooUrns 2:27 pm 08 Dec 15

I think a map would be a great idea, our vet said a few months ago that it was confirmed in Goulburn 6 months ago so it spreads fast we had all ours double doesd just recently. We will probably start leaving our shoes outside as you only need to walk up Mt Taylor or go for a walk along the tails were the wild bunnies live and you could potentialy bring it inside.

Hope they do find a vaccine and politcs stays out of it, one can only imagine the outccry if everyones dogs or cats started dropping.

Good luck all

Southmouth 11:52 am 08 Dec 15

It would be useful to map the fatalities to see the spread. I think i’ll keep my bunnies quarantined rather than risk the vet for a vaccine that probably doesn’t work.

Charlotte Harper 9:56 am 08 Dec 15
Alexandra Craig 9:30 am 08 Dec 15

The RSPCA have just put out a statement confirming a European strain of the virus is present in the ACT and the vaccine efficiency for this strain is unknown 🙁 Rest in peace all the bunnies that have passed.

Anniedehoog 4:46 pm 07 Dec 15

I had 4 baby bunnies die yesterday. I suspected heat stroke as the mumma bunny had knocked the shade down, and some are still alive. Hope the others aren’t dying of the virus too!

BooUrns 4:24 pm 07 Dec 15

Hi Thats sad,
We have 4 rabbits that are inside bunnies.

Our vet said that there is a new strain of calicivirus going around that was from europe? or someware.

In any case they do not have the correct vaccine as the gov wont allow them to import it as they think it will get into the wild pop if a pet rabbit escapes.

Even tho it has been proven that pet rabbits cannot survive or join other rabbit groups due to rabbits being extreamly tribal and territoral. They will kill other rabbits from other groups.

However I digress, You can get a double dose of the current vaccine and it may prove effective which is what we have done.

But it could also be snakes as well.

dungfungus 4:12 pm 07 Dec 15

Charlotte Harper said :

That link doesn’t mention anything about the past fortnight?

Well, you are right and that’s because of the poor sub-editing on the ACT Government website (Hot Topics).
The first part of the advice reads:”Closing hours for the Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary will be extended for a two week period starting Monday 30 November to allow for the ongoing program to control rabbit and hare populations.

The Sanctuary will be closed from 1 am to 8 am on Monday 30 November 2015. It will then be closed 6 pm to 8 am nightly from the evening of Monday 30 November 2015 to the morning of Friday 4 December 2015. These closures will be repeated the following week from 1 am to 8 am on Monday 7 December 2015, and then 6 pm to 8 am nightly from the evening of Monday 7 December 2015 to the morning of Friday 10 December 2015.

Operations will cease over the Christmas and New Year’s break meaning the sanctuary will be open at all times to the public between the dates of Friday 18 December 2015 through to Monday 4 January 2016 when the program will recommence.

Notification signage is in place at all public entrances to the reserve to alert people to the closure. As this is an ongoing project, the public will be notified if further work is done in the area. For enquiries on the Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary rabbit and hare control program please call Access Canberra on 13 22 81.
“Read more” is at the end and when this is clicked on it goes to the link I posted.

Charlotte Harper 2:48 pm 07 Dec 15

That link doesn’t mention anything about the past fortnight?

Kalfour 1:42 pm 07 Dec 15

You can get your rabbits vaccinated against calici if you’re worried.
Another possibility at this time of year is snakes.

dungfungus 11:27 am 07 Dec 15

If the problem is in Tuggers it could be the ongoing odour and toxic odourless releases from the Mugga Lane land fill .
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/mugga-lane-tip-expansion-plans-lodged-20151202-gldnld.html

Alexandra Craig 11:17 am 07 Dec 15

Oh no, I’m very sorry for your loss. So sad.

I do have a recollection of calicivirus being released in Tuggeranong, I think in the Pine Island area, somewhat recently however I can’t remember where I read this, nor can I find anything online.

It may be worth contacting Canberra Lost Pet Database on Facebook as they are really in-the-know with this sort of thing.

dungfungus 10:47 am 07 Dec 15

The ACT government has been active in rabbit control in the past fortnight.
http://www.tams.act.gov.au/parks-conservation/plants_and_animals/Biosecurity/pest-animals/rabbit_control_program

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