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Mortality of rabbits in Burkina: "The State has abandoned us to our plight" Moumouni Simporé, president of the association of rabbit breeders

LEFASO.NET | Tiga Cheick SAWADOGO • Friday August 3, 2018 at 00h50min

Difficult period that live rabbit breeders since March 2018 throughout the Burkinabč territory. The animals are dying and until then, the causes of this mortality are unknown. The president of the Circle of rabbit breeders Moumouni Simporé, all bitter, depicts the situation in this interview. For him, the authorities in charge of animal resources have failed in the management of this epidemic that has decimated at least 80% of the national herd.
Moumouni Simporé (MS): Since the beginning of March in Bobo-Dioulasso and at the end of June in Ouagadougou, we are witnessing a high rabbit mortality among the rabbits. In most cases, there is no apparent sign. These are sudden deaths. There is a kind of somnolence, the rabbit moves very little, seems very exhausted by the slightest movement, it does not feed and eventually die at the end, with a breath more and more accelerated, without much physical agitation and without great apparent suffering. Death follows the maximum 3 hours after these symptoms.

The majority of the affected breeders have lost all of their subject. Breeders lost animals in Bobo Dioulasso (Hauts-Bassins Region), Ouagadougou (Central Region), Sabou (Central-West), Boussé (Central Plateau). Other regions could also be affected because we only have information from the localities where some of our contacts are.

Another curious fact is that a shepherd in the area north of the town of Bobo informed us in mid-June that he has several times discovered dead adult hares in the bush, with no visible injuries on their bodies.
... From March to August 2018, you have not yet identified the evil that eliminates your breeding?

..., we tried to identify the disease by performing autopsies (among us, there are people qualified to do so) and it allowed us to see that some subjects have no apparent lesion and others have strong congestion, with coagulated blood in the respiratory system. The following diseases were then suspected: pasteurellosis, food poisoning and viral haemorrhagic disease of the rabbit. The food poisoning has been excluded from the differential diagnosis because after gathering the information from the different breeders, it appears that they do not feed their animals with the same food.

Pasteurellosis was also excluded because the deaths are sudden without any apparent clinical signs. Viral haemorrhagic disease of the rabbit (HDV) is highly suspicious, the diagnostic elements point us to it, but no national laboratory has the capacity to perform a confirmatory analysis.
MS: Our estimates lead us to believe that 80% of the herd has been decimated, especially in Bobo Dioulasso and Ouagadougou ...

This epidemic in rabbits can quickly also turn into a public health problem. Animals have been dying en masse for four (04) months in at least three (03) areas without knowing the origin of the disease and so far there is no official reaction.

For the moment, we encourage breeders not to consume it or to have it consumed by other people. But we can not guarantee that dead rabbits of this mysterious disease have not landed on the plates of many Burkinabes. If this disease is transmissible from the animal to the man, hello the damage!