Myxomatosis has “jumped” to British hares

17 October 2018 – The myxoma virus, transmitted mechanically by mosquitoes and fleas among rabbits – and also from contact with infected animals – is killing British hares. Besides the ProMed article (click on the date above) and the article in VetRecord, read also the article in the “East Anglian Daily Times” and “The Telegraph“. The myxoma virus, a deadly hemorrhagic fever virus, was first detected in Uruguay in the late 19th century and thought to originate from the New World. This virus has a complex and horrific history, having been used both to control the “rabbit plague” in Australia (so ultimately a useful control agent) and lead to the decimation of domestic rabbits across Europe after a bacteriologist (a.k.a microbiologist) infected 2 feral rabbits in his estate to control them. It was also apparently used as biological warfare to collapse the Irish rabbit industry. There is a vaccine for domestic rabbits, outlawed in Australia for fear it might jump to and vaccinate feral rabbits.

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