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I’m Not Gonna, And YOU Can’t Make Me!

I’m paraphrasing of course, but I have had variations of that statement slung at me with all the might angry fingers tapping on a screen or pounding on a keyboard can muster recently, and I think it deserves some addressing.

Folks, change is hard for some. I get that. But change is also inevitable. The information we have today will be antiquated at some point, but that doesn’t make it LESS valid today.

In 1906, 118 years ago, we had to pass a FEDERAL LAW banning formaldehyde from our food supply, and just a few years prior to that one of the premier food safety experts and advocates of the time, John Newell Hurty, actually advocated for it’s inclusion in fresh milk as a preservative.

It only took him three short years to realize his error, and in 1901 he referenced formaldehyde as one of the root causes of over 400 Indiana infant and child deaths. It didn’t take him long after that to hail the 1850’s discovery of pasteurization as the better, safer option to chemical preservatives.

When we know better, we DO better….even if sometimes we resist or don’t understand the options we have.

For those rabbit owners who don’t take their rabbits anywhere, and never go places that large numbers of rabbits and rabbit owners are known to be, the liklihood that you will encounter a communicable disease are probably pretty slim.

The biosecurity measures you need to employ are absolutely going to be very different from mine, but that doesn’t mean everyone can do just what you do and enjoy that same slim probability of encountering communicable diseases.

Likewise, to suggest that “just because” RHDV2 has not been confirmed outside of the single property case in Medina, OH we can all “relax,” is highly presumptive, and in my opinion, terribly irresponsible.

The fact is, we STILL don’t know where the virus came from. And we certainly cannot assume it never left that Medina, OH property.

Until we know how it got to Ohio, we have to assume that it is still here and active in the United States. If we maintain our vigilance, employ strict biosecurity, and stop moving rabbits around the country, we can limit whatever impact it may have.

If I’m wrong, what have we lost?

Who The Hell Are You?!

In the past two weeks, I have received that question via email and social media at least 200 times in various forms, lol

I get it, folks. I’ve rattled some cages and pissed some people off. I’ve said things in ways that get people riled up, but you know what else that does? It makes people think.

So, let me get it out of the way and answer that question!

Most people who are asking that question are really asking “Do you have any authority to tell me what to do?”

I am Tresa Morris. I may as well be Jane Doe though, because I am a “nobody” when it comes to letters after my name or professional affiliations, or anything that the majority of people look for to tell them someone is an authority figure of some sort.

I’m just like you, and you, and yes you too. I am an every day, ordinary person. I am a Wife, Mother, Grandmother, business owner, entrepreneur, tax paying, flag waving, citizen of the United States of America.

And just like you, I have a skillset, a knowledge bank, and experience that makes me slightly unique. I also have a passion for finding and sharing information just because it exists and needs to be shared.

Here, via this website, I happen to focus that exclusively on rabbits.

So the answer is, I don’t have any authority over you. But, I’m also not trying to tell you what to do. I’m offering you information, and opinion, based on my unique skillset and experience.

I have been actively involved in the commercial production of food animals for over thirty years, primarily hog production.

I have been raising rabbits as food animals off and on since 1999, and have been a commercial producer of rabbits since 2015.

To say that biosecurity has been a big thing in my life is an understatement, but to say that I have seen whole industries threatened by preventable disease outbreaks would be accurate.

For example, the PEDv (Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus) killed about 8 million pigs in 2013, resulting in almost a $2 BILLION dollar loss to the U.S. swine industry and resulted in your pork prices skyrocketing.

And to also say that biosecurity and research, in all it’s manifestations, played a vital role in stopping PEDv’s devastation here would be accurate.

The swine industry has the resources to respond decisively, both in literal, physical action, but also via continuing research, as they have.

OUR industry, the rabbit industry as a whole, does NOT.

We are group of owners and caretakers with widely varied interests and purposes for owning rabbits, and we cannot seem to get our shit together and work as a team.

That needs to change!

The pet and hobby sectors of our industry have active representation, but the commercial industry does not. That does not negate the commercial industries input folks!

We may be a relatively small number in the head-count of people who own rabbits, but we own and care for the majority of rabbits in this country.

Most commercial producers either do not want to bring attention to what they do, or feel as if what they have to offer will be ignored. That’s fine; for them.

I, on the other hand, am not afraid of a little backlash. I am not “politically correct,” I do not cater to the sensitivities of folks who can’t imagine rabbit on their plate, and I am not afraid to challenge people to think for themselves.

I am willing to be a voice that rises above those saying “No, hush…be quiet.” “Don’t make waves.” “It’s not a good time.” “You’re going to make people mad!”

It is an unfortunate truth that controversy brings people to the conversation. None of what I have to say is meant to bring controversy, but if it does, good!

While people are responding to what I have to say, they are thinking. Hopefully, they are also researching, learning, and pointing out any inaccuracies they find!

So that’s who I am. Who the hell are you?

Biosecurity

Since the September 2018 confirmation of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus, Type 2 (RHDV2) in Medina, OH biosecurity has been a hot topic of discussion.

At this point, much good information has been shared about biosecurity, but there is still a large portion of rabbit owners who either don’t believe they have anything to worry about, or think that biosecurity ONLY pertains to threats like RHDV2.

That is just not true!

Biosecurity is, by definition:

There are numerous “biological agents” that affect rabbits, and biosecurity is always our first line of defense against them. RHDV2 is just the newest (and rarest) one we are aware of here in the United States.

Three specific, very common, pathogens that every rabbitry, but particularly rabbitries that breed, should be well informed about and practice good biosecurity for are:

Pasturella ( P multocida being a rabbitries primary concern)

Bordetella (namely Bordetella bronchiseptica)

Clostridium (primarily Clostridium spiriforme)

It’s time the rabbit industry starts making noise about the absolute need for biosecurity, what exactly biosecurity is, and how every single rabbit owner or handler in the US can do their part!

I’m willing to start ringing my cowbell on this topic….are you?!

If you are, feel free to leave a comment but please…share this post far and wide first.

Over the next couple of days, I’ll be publishing co-authored posts from other rabbitry owners across the country who are willing to not only tell you what biosecurity looks like for their rabbitry, but SHOW you as well.

Are you in?!

CODE OF PRACTICE FOR THE CARE & HANDLING OF RABBITS: REVIEW OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH ON PRIORITY ISSUES

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Last Updated: 08-09-2018 13:07

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Nutrition Of The Rabbit, 2nd Edition

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Last Updated: 27-08-2018 13:47

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THE GENE EXPRESSION OF WEANING AGE AND ITS EFFECT ON PRODUCTIVE PERFORMANCE OF RABBITS

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MILK INTAKE IN KITS: NOT ONLY THE TOTAL AMOUNT MATTERS

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Last Updated: 27-08-2018 13:23

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Milk yield prediction at late lactation in reproductive rabbit does

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Last Updated: 27-08-2018 13:21

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RABBIT MILK: A REVIEW OF QUANTITY, QUALITY AND NON-DIETARY AFFECTING FACTORS.

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Last Updated: 27-08-2018 13:19

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PERFORMANCE AND SUSTAINABILITY OF TWO ALTERNATIVE RABBIT BREEDING SYSTEMS

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Last Updated: 27-08-2018 13:18

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