Social & Economic Impacts
RHD has the potential to negatively impact U.S. households and the larger economy in a variety of ways. Here are just a few examples:
Rabbits are the third most common household pet in the United States. US residents own over two million pet rabbits. Because of this, RHD poses significant concerns for pet owners about the wellbeing of their animals. It also poses an increased financial burden on pet owners who are considering the RHDV2 vaccine.
RHD poses significant concerns for the domestic rabbit industry (e.g., rabbit breeders, meat and fur producers). In 2017, ~ 500,000 rabbits were sold nationally for commercial use. Thus, RHDV2 has the potential to significantly impact the U.S. economy.
A decline in wild rabbits will negatively impact small-game hunting and falconry in the United States. Approximately 1.3 million people spent a total of 20 million days hunting rabbits in the United States in 2016. In 2011, the most recent year when data was available, the combination of rabbit and other small-game hunting contributed $2.6 billion to the economy each year.
Click HERE for information on the ecological impacts of RHDV2.