The Greater Vancouver Zoo cancelled hands-on sessions with rabbits over Easter following word from the SPCA that a highly infectious disease that is 95 per cent fatal to bunnies had spread to the Lower Mainland. (SPCA photo)

Hundreds of rabbits to be vaccinated at South Surrey clinic

Vets volunteering time to protect 200-plus animals

More than 200 rabbits are to be vaccinated at a clinic in South Surrey Tuesday, as part of efforts to fight a nasty virus that has killed thousands of domestic rabbits on Vancouver Island and in parts of the Lower Mainland.

According to a news release today, the Rabbitats Rescue Society effort will involve 125 rabbits rescued from the Richmond Auto Mall, eight from the Semiahmoo Animal League (SALI) farm and more than 50 rabbits in foster care.

Four veterinarians – from Richmond, Langley, Vancouver and Squamish – are volunteering their time, along with “a small army” of helpers, the release notes.

The vaccine is to protect the rabbits from rabbit hemorrhagic disease.

B.C.’s Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development issued a news release last month advising rabbit owners to take precautions after confirming that the virus – which attacks blood vessels and organs – had killed hundreds of feral rabbits across B.C., including in Delta and Nanaimo.

Most affected rabbits die suddenly, but can show signs of listlessness, a lack of co-ordination, behavioural changes or trouble breathing before death.

The outbreak prompted the BC SPCA to temporarily suspend its intake of rabbits into all Island and Lower Mainland shelters. The Greater Vancouver Zoo cancelled hands-on sessions with rabbits over Easter following word the virus had spread.

Tuesday’s vaccination effort will use a vaccine not currently approved for use in Canada, however, “it has been imported from France under an emergency permit after a colossal cooperative effort involving multiple government departments and veterinarians,” the release states.

More than 1,000 doses of the vaccine were purchased this month, and another shipment is expected next month, the ministry announced earlier this month.

Just Posted

5,000 ducks race at Surrey beach

‘Ducktona’ event raises funds for Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 5

Seventh lane now open on Alex Fraser Bridge

Four lanes heading southbound, three heading northbound for now

Developer looks to build 25-storey office tower by Surrey mall

Proposed for site of former Best Buy store

Infant’s sudden death at Surrey complex for vulnerable women prompts police probe

Officials say child was two years or younger; won’t comment on cause of death until investigation complete

New survey aims to create a ‘vibrant downtown that all of Surrey can be proud of’

Downtown Surrey BIA’s 20/20 Vision project asks residents for input

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Vancouver’s Tristan Connelly shocks the UFC world

Late replacement upsets big favourite Pereira, main event sees Gaethje stop Cerrone in round one

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

B.C. company gets licence to test psychedelic drugs for therapy treatment

Salvation Botanicals interested in manufacturing, testing and research and development

B.C. police watchdog to investigate man’s head injury during RCMP arrest

Suspect fled on a bicycle and fell off when an officer attempted to stop him

‘A real shame’: B.C. MLA says factors behind Tolko mill closing should have been caught

Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson said the industry is in bad shape across the province

Most Read

l -->