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The Ministry of Agriculture developed new veterinary rules for rabbit breeders

The Russian Ministry of Agriculture has developed a draft of new veterinary rules to combat myxomatosis. This disease causes high mortality in rabbits and considerable losses to rabbit farms.

The Ministry of Agriculture developed new veterinary rules for rabbit breeders
Photo by Alexander Plonsky /V&L

“The spread of myxomatosis among rabbits leads to a high mortality rate in productive animals, which in its turn, causes a decline in production and its quality,” the Ministry explained. They also added that currently when myxomatosis is reported on a farm, all animals must be culled and products destroyed. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the average cost of unsold rabbit meat and skins is about 200 rubles per kilogram. The losses of the farm for 1000 rabbits will reach 1 million rubles (with 1 rabbit average weight at 5 kg).

Therefore, vaccination of rabbits against myxomatosis is among the new requirements.

Reminder: the new RabbitCombo vaccine for the prevention of dangerous diseases in rabbits will be released into the Russian market in 2023 by the Federal Center for Animal Health (FSBI ARRIAH of Rosselkhoznadzor). This product has been developed for the protection of animals from myxomatosis in particular.

The new veterinary rules for the prevention of myxomatosis also require a 30-day quarantine for newly acquired rabbits entering the farm. The animals can be transported only from farms which have been free from that disease for at least 180 days.

Besides that, the rules establish procedures for specimen collection and diagnostic assessment, and describe cases when mixomatosis should be considered confirmed.

The length of the quarantine period should not be less than 15 days. The rules describe the procedures to be carried out in contaminated or high-risk zones.

The new rules were posted on the portal for draft regulatory legal acts. They come into force on March 1, 2023, and are to be valid until March 1, 2030.

Information note

Myxomatosis is an infectious disease affecting rabbits and other lagomorphs.

Myxomatosis symptoms include inflammation and swelling of the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and respiratory tract with purulent discharge; wheezing; swollen tissues in the head, skin, and genitals; body temperature rises to 41.5 C. The nodular form manifests in the appearance of nodules on the ears and eyes. The virus is transmitted by infected or recovered rabbits. The disease spreads through contact, airborne, or vector-borne transmission.  

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English version, 6 Feb 2023 21:23
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