Pennsylvania RHD FAQ

PA RHD INFORMATION and FAQs

Last updated:  20-Sept-22

FOR QUESTIONS EMAIL pasrbarhd@gmail.com

 

ARBA RHD policy and updates can be found here

PA Vet Search website

Vaccine information

 

 

Sept 20 Pa Farm Show RHD update

The farm show has provided the PaSRBA committee with guidance to proceed with the 2023 PA Farm Show in the same manner as we did in 2022. The rules and the attestation documents will be updated (dates and effected states) and posted. The 90 day requirement will remain in effect." As more information is available, I will share with the board. The biggest thing is the 90 days (October 8, 2022) will still be a factor for 2023.

In 2020 the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture implemented an interstate rabbit policy to reduce the spread of RHD into the Commonwealth. The order deals with rabbits that travel from a state that has a positive case or presumptive case in the past 12 months, as defined by the USDA, and enter into PA.  The rule has been designated to protect the health and viability of the multi-million dollar rabbit industry within the Commonwealth of PA as PA is one of the top rabbit producers in the nation. 

 

Full text of the rule can be found at:  http://www.pacodeandbulletin.gov/Display/pabull?file=/secure/pabulletin/data/vol50/50-39/1311.html&d=reduce

 

Additionally, the ARBA maintains its own policy regarding RHD which in most cases are less stringent that the Commonwealth of PA.  It is recommended that all attendees review the ARBA policy which can be found on the ARBA website (www.arba.net) and within the ARBA Official Show rules (Section 15).

 

It is the responsibility of each exhibitor / owner / importer to follow the Commonwealth of PA rule and the ARBA policy if they are bringing rabbits, equipment or products into the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  Please note the rule set forth by the PA Department of Agriculture are strictly enforced by the State Veterinarian and violators are subject to fines of up to $10,000 per violation.  Suspected violations must be reported by contacting the State Vet’s office 24 hour emergency hotline at 717-772-2852 option 1.

 

The affected RHD quarantine states per the PA order are shown in the map below.  This list is subject to change and will be updated as PaSRBA is made aware of changes.

 

If your rabbits originate from (travel to PA from) one of the states that has an RHD exposure or event in the past 12 months the live rabbits must be accompanied by an Interstate Certificate of Veterinary inspection and must be examined by an accredited Veterinarian within the 72 hours prior to the date of shipment to Pennsylvania. The Interstate Certificate of Veterinary Inspection must include the following written statements prepared by the accredited Veterinarian writing the form: ​

​​​​​​

  1. “All Rabbits in the shipment have been examined for and found free of infectious, contagious, or communicable diseases.”

  2. “All Rabbits have originated from a single premises that has no signs of infectious, contagious or communicable disease in rabbits.”

  3. “There have been no movement of Rabbits onto the premises of origin within the 90 days prior to the date of shipment.”

  4. “The rabbits in this shipment have had no contact with wild or captive rabbits other than their cohorts in the 90 days prior to shipment.”

Please note if an accredited veterinarian issues a CVI for rabbits we assume that the associated transport equipment and feed from the their premises is not considered exposed and is ok to come into PA. 

 

 

PA RHD FAQs

​1. Q:  I have attended other shows recently and plan to travel from a quarantine state (red on map) into PA or plan to show in a quarantine state and return to PA.  How does this rule apply to me?

A:  Based on CVI item #4 of the PA Quarantine order, rabbits would not be able to obtain a CVI to enter PA from a quarantine state or re-enter PA after travelling to a quarantine state.


 

2. Q - What if an exhibitor from a listed quarantine state took their animals from premise #1 showed at a show and returned them to premise #2 for self biosecurity/quarantine precautions?

A - Animals from premise #1 can enter PA but animals from their premise #2 are barred from entry into PA for 90 days. All CVI rules and other stipulations of the PA Quarantine order still apply.
 

3. Q - If an accredited vet issues a CVI for rabbits coming from an RHD quarantine state is associated transport equipment, show equipment and feed allowed to come into PA?  

A - If an accredited veterinarian issues a CVI for rabbits coming from an affected state associated transport equipment and feed from the their premises is not considered exposed and is ok to come into PA. All equipment is recommended to be properly sanitized before coming to PA and upon your return home.  See also the ARBA show rules for additional recommendations. 

 

4. Q: My rabbits have received the RHD vaccine and we have the documentation to prove that.  We live in a quarantine state.   Does the order apply to my rabbits?

A:  Yes the order applies as it does not distinguish between vaccinated and unvaccinated rabbits.  Any rabbit entering the Commonwealth of PA from a quarantine state must have CVI compliant with the provisions in the order.

 

5. Q:  Should I clean my equipment before or after the show?

A:  We recommend to follow good biosecurity practices and to also sanitize all equipment before coming to PA and upon your return home.  See also the ARBA show & RHD rules for additional recommendations. 

6. Q: Is there any requirement for PA rabbits to provide a health certificate for exhibition at PaSRBA or PA based shows?

A: If they are PA based rabbits travelling within PA, a CVI is not required. The rule applies to rabbits entering PA from a quarantine state (red on our map).

 

7. Q:  What are the best practices for buying used rabbit equipment considering RHD has been found in PA and many other states in the US, including several surrounding PA?

 

A:  Given the situation that RHD has been found in Pennsylvania, we are publishing some best practices regarding purchasing of used rabbit equipment to help prevent the inadvertent spread of RHD within our Commonwealth.

If you are purchasing any used equipment we recommend you:

  • Ask the seller about their equipment sanitation practices

  • Ask the seller where the equipment is located and any historical movements over the past several months to ascertain its potential proximity to RHD infected rabbits

  • Ask the seller directly if the equipment has been in contact with any rabbits or locations that have had RHD or been potentially exposed to RHD

  • Do not purchase any equipment if you cannot reasonably mitigate the risk of exposing your rabbitry to RHD

  • Do not purchase any equipment that cannot be properly sanitized

  • Sanitize any purchased used equipment following recommended sanitization practices and using agents that are effective against RHD (see USDA or State websites for more information).  It would be recommended to quarantine such equipment following recommended quarantine procedures.

  • Do purchase new equipment where possible which has not been potentially exposed to rabbits or locations that have had RHD or been potentially exposed to RHD.

8. Q:  Who’s responsibility is it to comply with the PA Quarantine order?

 

A:  It is the responsibility of everyone involved in transporting rabbits and equipment into PA and those aware of such transports.  By law, any suspected violations must be reported to the State Vet’s 24 hour emergency hotline immediately at 717-772-2852 option 1.  This include but not limited to owners, exhibitors, transporters, show sponsors, clubs, vendors, etc.

 

9. Q:  As a show sponsor, that are my responsibilities when hosting a show to comply with the PA Quarantine order?

 

A:  Show sponsors are equally responsible for safeguarding the PA rabbit population and industry.  It is recommended that show sponsors establish a plan and adopt procedures to ensure that rabbits attending their event are in compliance with the PA Quarantine order.  It is recommended to pre-screen all entries for compliance.  An attestation statement on the entry for is a good idea that indicates the exhibitor has read and is in full compliance with the PA Quarantine order.  For entries that you accept that are accompanied by a required CVI, it is recommended to inspect the shipment and compare the CVI to the animal tattoos to ensure all rabbits are listed correctly with no discrepancies (tattoos must match).  Any discrepancies with the CVIs must be reported to the State Vet’s 24 hour emergency number at 717-772-2852 option 1.  They will provide guidance on what to do next.  It is recommended to make and keep a copy of any CVIs and any other records that will show the steps you took to help safeguard PA and comply with the PA Quarantine order.  It is suggested to save those documents with the show paperwork and maintain for at least 1 year.  It is recommended to do these checks in an area outside the show room that does not have direct access to the other rabbits on premise.

10. Q: What do I do if I experience rabbit deaths on my premise?  What do I do if a rabbit show I am sponsoring experiences rabbit deaths?


A:  Immediately treat the premises as quarantine and do not remove any rabbits.  Immediately report these incidents to the State Vet’s 24 hour emergency number at 717-772-2852 option 1.  They will provide guidance on what to do next.

If your rabbits originate from one of the states that has an RHD exposure or event in the past 12 months the live rabbits must be accompanied by an Interstate Certificate of Veterinary inspection and must be examined by an accredited Veterinarian within the 72 hours prior to the date of shipment to Pennsylvania. The Interstate Certificate of Veterinary Inspection must include the following written statements prepared by the accredited Veterinarian writing the form: 

  1. “All Rabbits in the shipment have been examined for and found free of infectious, contagious, or communicable diseases.”

  2. “All Rabbits have originated from a single premises that has no signs of infectious, contagious or communicable disease in rabbits.”

  3. “There have been no movement of Rabbits onto the premises of origin within the 90 days prior to the date of shipment.”

  4. “The rabbits in this shipment have had no contact with wild or captive rabbits other than their cohorts in the 90 days prior to shipment.”

If shipping rabbits to PA on Friday February 4, 2022, 90 days prior is November 6, 2021.

Please note if an accredited veterinarian issues a CVI for rabbits we assume that the associated transport equipment and feed from the their premises is not considered exposed and is ok to come into PA. 

FAQ:

1. Q:  I have attended other shows recently and live in a quarantine state.  How does this rule apply to me?

A:  For the 90 days that is only in cases where movements onto your premises has occurred in the quarantine states.  So for example, exhibitors from NY that attended the December NJ show  are now barred from attending our event in early.  Basically if you live in NY (or any other quarantine state) you cannot attend our event starting Feb 4th if there has been any movement of animals  onto your premises since Nov 6th (90 days from Feb 4).  This applies to all current quarantine states and any future quarantine states retroactive 90 days to Nov 6th.


 

2. Q - What if an exhibitor from a listed state took their animals from premise #1 showed at a show and returned them to premise #2 for self biosecurity/quarantine precautions?

A - Animals from premise #1 can attend a show in PA but animals from their premise #2 are barred from PA for 90 days. 
 

3. Q - If an accredited vet issues a CVI for rabbits coming from an RHD state is associated transport equipment, show equipment and feed allowed to come into PA?  

A - If an accredited veterinarian issues a CVI for rabbits coming from an affected state associated transport equipment and feed from the their premises is not considered exposed and is ok to come into PA. All equipment is recommended to be properly sanitized before coming to PA and upon your return home.  See also the ARBA show rules for additional recommendations. 

 

4. Q: My rabbits have received the RHD vaccine and we have the documentation to prove that.  We live in a quarantine state.   Does the order apply to my rabbits?

A:  Yes the order applies as it does not distinguish between vaccinated and unvaccinated rabbits.  Any rabbit entering the Commonwealth of PA from a quarantine state must have CVI compliant with the provisions in the order.

 

5. Q:  Should I clean my equipment before or after the show?

A:  We recommend to follow good biosecurity practices and to also sanitize all equipment before coming to PA and upon your return home.  See also the ARBA show rules for additional recommendations. 

6. Q: Is there any requirement for PA rabbits to provide a health certificate for exhibition at PaSRBA or PA based shows?

A: If they are PA based rabbits a CVI is not required. The rule applies to rabbits entering PA from a quarantine state (red on our map).