Around 300 dead rabbits have been found in Nanaimo since the start of this month, as the deadly rabbit hemorrhagic virus emerges in new areas.
Nanaimo Animal Control says they have seen numbers around Vancouver Island University decrease, but they are getting more in Beban Park, around the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital and near Westwood Road ? all north of the university.
“We are still picking up lots in those new areas, and a couple near north Jingle Pot Road and Turner Road,” said Carley Colclough, the pound coordinator at Nanaimo Animal Control.
“It appears to be the same virus and the government has been quite active in researching the exact strain.”
The virus, first found at the beginning of March concentrated around VIU, has also recently been found in the Comox Area.
It’s the third confirmed diagnosis of this virus in Canada and the first in B.C.
Rabbit owners are advised to be extremely cautious as it’s an extremely infectious and lethal disease for rabbits. It does not pose a threat to humans or other animals.
“It’s impossible to say if you have stepped on some feces, or somehow inadvertently come in contact with the virus,” added Colclough.
“Keep your bunnies inside and be very cautious with your shoes and clothing, and report any deceased [rabbits] to us and we will come pick them up.”