The Threat From Myxomatosis
If you have a pet rabbit, vaccinate it. The British countryside stands on the verge of the biggest outbreak of myxomatosis for years.
If you have a pet rabbit , vaccinate it. The British countryside stands on the verge of the biggest outbreak of myxomatosis for years. Epidemics have already been confirmed in Dorset, East Sussex, Essex, Newcastle, Cambridge and Surrey.
Myxomatosis is a skin pox first discovered in South American rabbits, who have become immune to it’s fatal effects. In the Fifties scientists introduced it to Australia and France to combat their rocketing rabbit populations, from where it spread to England, killing 99% of the rabbit population in 2 years.
Passed on by blood-sucking mites, the virus first creates lumps around the rabbit’s eyes and genitals. Blindness follows. The rabbit loses it’s sense of balance, stops eating and develops a fever. Death typically takes about 13 days.
Experts are blaming the current outbreak on the mild autumn, which has allowed the parasites to flourish.