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Possible origin of rabbit haemorrhagic disease in the United Kingdom
  1. D Chasey
  1. Department of Virology, Central Veterinary Laboratory, Addleston, Surrey.


Rabbit haemorrhagic disease was reported for the first time in the United Kingdom in 1992, and there followed four further small localised outbreaks, all in the south of England. Investigation has revealed no definitive mechanism for the introduction of the disease but it is considered that it probably originated from the near continent. The possibility of the transmission of the virus across the Channel by aerosol, birds and south coast ferry traffic is discussed, particularly with respect to the 1993 outbreaks of the disease in Kent and East Sussex. There may be implications for infection of wild rabbits, although preliminary investigation has shown no direct evidence of the disease in them.

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