RHD-2 is a new strain of rabbit calicivirus which has been in the UK since 2010. The current vaccination which is licensed for pet rabbits in the UK provides little or no protection against this virus which has a high mortality rate and is extremely infectious. Cases have been reported throughout the UK and the virus can be transmitted by direct contact with other rabbits, as well as through clothing, bedding and food.
The Rabbit Welfare Association vets are recommending a vaccination imported from mainland Europe called Filavac VHD. As this is not licensed for use in the UK, any decision to vaccinate should be discussed with your vet. As this product is not licensed to be used alongside the current vaccine Nobivac Myxo-RHD, a 2 week gap between the doses should be allowed. Annual vaccination should be sufficient in low risk areas but high risk rabbits (e.g. those in a rescue centre, boarding facility, or those with contact with wild rabbits) should consider 6 monthly vaccination.
For more information, visit the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund website.