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EPA and USDA Release Information for Mitigating Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV2) Outbreak

For Release: July 20, 2020

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in coordination with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has released a list of 115 disinfectant products recommended for use related to the outbreak of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus Stereotype 2 (RHDV2). This virus, which impacts wild and domestic rabbits, is not a threat to human health or other domestic animals.

RHDV2 spreads through direct contact or exposure to excretions or blood from infected rabbits, as well as contaminated food, water and materials, including clothing and shoes. As is often the case with emerging viral pathogens, few if any EPA-registered disinfectant product labels specify use against this category of infectious agents.

However, EPA and USDA have worked together closely to create a list of 115 disinfectant products recommended for use on surfaces that rabbits may contact. In the absence of products registered specifically against RHDV2, USDA approached EPA about triggering its EPA’s Emerging Viral Pathogen Policy (EVP) to respond to the outbreak of this virus in the United States. This list has been generated based on the EVP’s two-stage process, which allows use of certain EPA-registered disinfectant products against emerging viral pathogens not identified on the product label.

A company can apply for an emerging viral pathogen claim, even before an outbreak occurs, based on previous EPA-approved claims for harder-to-kill viruses. Since its implementation in 2016 this policy has only been triggered one other time, for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

RHDV2 is a small, non-enveloped emerging virus, which means it is in the category of the hardest to kill viruses. Per the EVP, products eligible to be used against this virus have demonstrated efficacy against two small, non-enveloped viruses from different virus families.

For more information visit List O: Disinfectants for Use Against Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV2).