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American Rabbit Breeders Association, Inc.
Dedicated to the promotion, development, and improvement of the domestic rabbit and cavy
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Current News...



Executive Director Stewart has been in touch with officials from both Ohio and Michigan for follow up information regarding suspicious cases of rabbit illnesses.  Michigan reports that there have been no RHD positive cases within the state.  Ohio reports that other than the one isolated case of a RHD positive rabbit test, no additional animals have tested positive for RHD.  The premises in Medina County Ohio which yielded the positive RHD rabbit test remains under quarantine.  The surviving rabbit that resided in the horse stall where the RHD positive rabbit lived in Medina County OH, has since been surrendered and after multiple tests the surviving rabbit has tested negative for RHD.  Other government agencies, in cooperation with OVMA, have also collected samples from nearby wildlife and all samples collected have tested negative for RHD.  Breeders are encouraged to maintain reasonable bio-security measures; however, note that this single isolated case of a rabbit testing positive for RHD in Medina County, Ohio is not categorized as an outbreak.



We are sorry to report that a RHD2 infected rabbit has been confirmed in Medina County, Ohio. When learning of the statement this afternoon, the ARBA immediately mobilized to obtain facts regarding the infection. In speaking with the Ohio State Veterinary Services office, we were able to determine that the report is unfortunately true. Although the identity and general location of the owners are confidential, we have learned that the rabbits were maintained privately and were not show rabbits. Rabbits maintained on the property were not transported on or off of the property for some time. False positive tests can be common, however in this case the tests were performed by Plum Island labs and PCR was conducted twice with the same result- RHD2 was isolated. Testing takes time, hence the delay from suspected infection and the notice being provided today; the ARBA was not alerted until this afternoon. Ohio State has involved multiple agencies in their efforts to conduct epidemiological study to determine how this isolated rabbit became infected, and to assess the of risk transmission to domestic rabbit populations in Ohio and North America. At this time it has not been categorized as an outbreak, the property that had housed the confirmed infected rabbit has been quarantined, and the ARBA will be the primary industry contact for updates from the OVMA. In the meantime, your ARBA Board of Directors are reviewing this serious concern and will be providing immediate updates both through the ARBA Website and ARBA Facebook page. We recognize the concerns with upcoming shows and the ARBA National Convention, both being at the forefront of the biosecurity conversations. Although the RHD2 virus was identified in British Columbia earlier this year, there is no evidence of any correlation between the BC infections and the infection identified in Medina County, Ohio.

Please review the OVMA news post below long with the fact sheets regarding RHD and prevention. Expect immediate updates the moment they are available from the authorities. It is recommended to not act upon information from other sources. The ARBA will be the first point of contact for disseminating any developments regarding this serious concern.

Vet Zone Article - Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease
RHD Fact Sheet
First confirmed U.S. case of RHD2 found in Medina County | OVMA News & Classifieds



ARBA Election Results

Josh Humphries-2957 votes *
Joel Marshall-2095 votes

Rusty Westhoff-2590 votes *
Jeff Hardin 2435 votes

Arlyse DeLoyola-(elected by acclamation)

Theresa Christen-367 votes *
David Cardinal- 213 votes

Jim Rowland-217 votes *
Jeff Albright-196 votes
Errean Kratochvil-31 votes

Terry Fender-517 votes *
David Moll-430 votes
LeAnn McKinney-370 votes

* Elected



ARBA Office Relocating

The ARBA Board of Directors has finalized its decision to relocate the ARBA headquarters office from Illinois to Pennsylvania. This is a business decision that is expected to reduce operating costs by an estimated $20,000 per year that will help to maintain fee schedules despite inflation. In addition, the net proceeds from the sale of the existing facility and subsequent purchase of a facility in Pennsylvania is expected to provide a significant cash reserve

The current ARBA headquarters office will close on June 1st and the Pennsylvania office will begin operations on June 4th. During this transition period there may be some delays due to the conversion from one facility to another; however, every effort will be made to minimize service interruption. The Board has directed that any questions regarding office relocation be fielded by ARBA Steering Committee Co-Chairs, Mike Avesing and Roger Hassenpflug. Due to the involved nature of the relocation preparations, Eric Stewart may not be able to return your call immediately as he is currently occupied with the office transition.

Josh Humphries
ARBA President


RHD Update RE: British Columbia, Canada

The ARBA has been formally notified that there are two rabbitries on Vancouver Island, BC with confirmed RHD infections.  We were warned that there was the potential for these infections but asked to not release any notice until results were confirmed through testing.  Both rabbitries were utilizing recommended bio-security measures.  In speaking with one of the owners today we collected additional recommendations for means by which to potentially receive additional support in BC for containing the outbreak.  Please continue to look for more updates as we obtain additional information to keep you informed of all developments with the RHD outbreak in BC.


ARBA Statement Regarding Recent RHD Outbreak in British Columbia, Canada

The ARBA has remained vigilant in its monitoring the RHD outbreak in British Columbia, Canada.  The authorities have confirmed that there have been no identified infections in any rabbitry.  Testing has found the virus in two Eastern Cottontail rabbits (non-native species to BC), but no new infections identified in any other feral domestic rabbits.  The authorities have not determine the definitive source of the RHD outbreak but all leads indicate the feral population infected at Vancouver Island University was likely the first.  Allegations that rescue groups were sending rabbits from BC to Washington have been investigated and no RHD infections have been identified within the USA.

Citizens in BC have been offered the opportunity to obtain the RHD vaccine by contacting their veterinarian to be placed on the order.  There are no plans for the vaccine to become available within the USA.  It is illegal to obtain, possess, or administer the RHD vaccine within the USA.  Any rabbit vaccinated will test positive for RHD therefore if there were an outbreak, all rabbits testing positive for RHD would be eliminated.  The USDA-APHIS have strongly encouraged the ARBA to continue educating members regarding sound management and bio-security measures.  Keep in mind that the virus can be introduced on your shoes, clothing, objects, other animals, insects, and even within our own sinuses.  If you see suspicious deaths or any symptoms you feel may be RHD, immediately contact your veterinarian or any veterinary professional.  This is a mandatory reportable disease. The virus can be killed from surfaces using a 10% bleach solution.  There is not a cure for RHD and the mortality rates are generally so high that many outbreaks will end due to the rabbits being dead.  Prevention is key and we encourage you to please read the attached pdf fact sheets on the disease and appropriate bio-security precautions you can take.

Members in British Columbia have been quite responsible with how they have managed living within the outbreak areas.  We commend these breeders for their sacrifices and willingness to voluntarily quarantine their herds during this crisis.  We remain optimistic that the outbreak can be contained.  In the meantime, the ARBA Show Rules do permit show committees the option to deny entries from areas within 150 miles of a confirmed RHD outbreak.  Some clubs have decided to cancel their spring shows, but note that this is not a decision mandated by ARBA or the authorities at this time.  The single most important thing we can each do as rabbit breeders is to not panic.  Read over the literature provided, make judicious decisions regarding husbandry practices, and continue to enjoy our hobby.  The ARBA will continue to communicate with officials both within the USA and Canada thus remaining up to date with any and all developments.

Members are encouraged to download and print the following articles...



Mini Rex Sable Variety, Lionhead Siamese Sable Variety, and Tan Abyssinian Cavy Recognized as of December 1, 2017

The Sable Mini Rex, Siamese Sable Lionhead, and Tan Abyssinian Cavy passed their 3rd and final presentation at the 2017 ARBA Convention in Indianapolis, IN. The ARBA office has prepared official standard inserts formatted to fit the pages of the 2016-2020 ARBA Standard of Perfection for the new varieties:

12/1/2017 ARBA Standards Inserts (Mini Rex, Lionhead, and Cavy)



ARBA Partnering with FFA

To promote it's recent partnership with Future Farmers of America - FFA, the ARBA has added a new page to its website to serve as an immediate resource to FFA members as well as advisors who are interested in expanding their current market and/or breeding rabbit programs. Below is a link to the new page...

FFA Resource Page


Judges Conferences...
Click this link to view the latest
ARBA Judges' Conference Guidelines


Sponsoring Club:

February 1, 2019
Lebanon, PA
PA State Rabbit Breeders Assoc.
Travis Finkle
P.O. Box 153
Marbury, MD 20658

Sponsoring Club:

March 1, 2019
East Lansing, MI
MI State Rabbit Breeders Assoc.
Bryan Shirk
78 Hawley Street
Quincy, MI 49082

Sponsoring Club:

March 29, 2019
Taylor, TX
Lone Star Cavy Club
Reed & Janis Tibbetts

Sponsoring Club:

May 26, 2019
Loveland, CO
Rocky Mountain High Shows
Deb Morrison,
296202 W. 4000 Rd,
Skiatook, OK 74070

Sponsoring Club:

June 7, 2019
Astoria, OR
Oregon League of Rabbit & Cavy Breeders
Robert Birman
91607 Schaffer Dr
Warrenton, OR 97146

Sponsoring Club:

American RabbitBreeders Association, Inc.

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Access ARBA Youth Contest Results…



Below are the official results of the breed/variety presentations at the 2018 ARBA National Convention in West Springfield. MA:

Newly Accepted Breeds/Varieties - December 1, 2018:
Belgian Hare - Tan
Britannia Petite - Siamese Sable

Siamese Sable Britannia Petite

Tan Belgian Hare

Click each photo to view new variety details.

On page 28 Section 13, the 2016-2020 ARBA Standard of Perfection states: "The new variety will have the privileges of the existing breed varieties starting on the first day of the month following publication of the variety standard in the Domestic Rabbits magazine."


Varieties/Breeds Presented and Passed this Showing:
Coming Soon!



American Rabbit Breeders Association, Inc.

Breeds/Varieties Presented But Did NOT Pass this Showing:
Information coming soon.






ARBA Election Results

Ray Stacy-260 votes
Melissa Magee-229 votes

Deb Morrison-307 votes
Tony Bell-176 votes


Myxomatosis Alert

Please find below an article link published by the Santa Cruz Sentinel and noted by our ARBA Rabbit and Cavy Health Committee Chairperson, Dr. Hreiz, as an awareness to rabbit owners specifically those living near coastal California and Oregon. Much like other areas experiencing environmental concerns during different seasons, myxomatosis can be a greater concern this time of year. It is important to develop a mosquito abatement program that includes removal of standing water and perhaps chemical treatments to reduce potential exposure to mosquitoes, the primary source of initial infections. The PDF myxomatosis article by Chris Zemny contains more information on myxomatosis and how you can effectively reduce the risk of infection.

Deadly Virus Threatens Pet Rabbits - Santa Cruz Sentinel


Message from the ARBA President

Below is a message to the ARBA Membership by ARBA President Josh Humphries. Please click the link below to access this message:

Message to the ARBA Membership


ARBA Standard Of Perfection - Final Acceptance of New Varieties

Page 28 Section 13 - Final Acceptance, in the 2016-2020 ARBA ARBA Standard of Perfection, "The new variety will have the privileges of the existing breed varieties starting on the first day of the month following publication of the variety standard in the Domestic Rabbits magazine."

The following variety standards were published in the November/December Domestic Rabbits magazine:
Lilac Havana
Chocolate Lionhead
Seal Lionhead
Himalayan Mini Satin
Squirrel Mini Satin
Blue New Zealand

Per the rule stated above, these varieties became eligible to compete December 1, 2016.
The latest SOP inserts are Available for Download.


ARBA Airline Committee Update

The following link embedded below is the revised ARBA Airlines Committee Update. If you are shipping rabbits or cavies via airplane it is imperative that you please review this update. For sake of clarification, the ARBA is not soliciting heightened restrictions on rabbit-cavy air travel; rather this is an effort to provide consistent expectations so travelers with rabbits-cavies do not experience delays or confusion getting to and from convention. The ARBA has no authority to mandate participation; however the ARBA Airlines Committee can offer travelers adhering to case study specifications support in the event of a problem. The headquarters of each airline have made it clear if travelers choose not to adhere to the negotiated case study terms there can be no guarantee the shipment will fly.

Click Here for the ARBA Airline Committee Update - 9/22/2016

Should you have any questions, please contact the ARBA Airlines Committee Chairperson - Pat Vezino: Do NOT contact the ARBA office as Pat is the single point of contact working with each airline.


Updated Airline Reference Guide and Tips Available

The ARBA Airlines Committee has recently updated their guide to aid ARBA members who plan to travel to national shows with their rabbits and/or cavies:

Airline Options (Official ARBA reference guide of airline carriers offering transport for rabbits and cavies.)


Argente Brun (49th ARBA recognized breed) and Mini Satin Broken Group and Chocolate Agouti Variety Recognized as of February 1, 2016

The Argente Brun and the Broken Mini Satin Group and Chocolate Agouti Variety passed their 3rd and final presentation at the 2015 ARBA Convention in Portland, OR. The ARBA office has prepared official standard inserts formatted to fit the pages of the 2016-2020 ARBA Standard of Perfection for the new breed and new Mini Satin group and variety as well as corrections to the Holland Lop (page 146 - Broken Group; page 149 - Cream variety; Delete Fawn variety), Mini Rex (page 179 - REW variety description), and Cavy standards:

2/1/2016 ARBA Standards Insert (Argente Brun, Mini Satin, Holland Lop, Mini Rex, and Cavy)

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In Memoriam...