IPE cancels this year’s rabbit exhibit due to deadly rabbit disease

There will be no rabbit exhibit at the IPE this year because of concerns about a deadly rabbit disease. Global News / File

Don’t expect to see bunnies at this year’s Interior Provincial Exhibition (IPE).

The annual fair in Armstrong, B.C., said it has decided to cancel its rabbit exhibit this year over concerns about rabbit hemorrhagic disease.

READ MORE: B.C. rabbits dying from lethal virus that kills in less time than Ebola hits some humans

“It’s a very aggressive disease that is easily carried from people, other rabbits, etc. We wouldn’t want any rabbits to be in danger of contracting this horrible virus disease,” the IPE Association said in a statement.

READ MORE: Lake Country rabbit sanctuary temporarily ends public visits due to virus risk

The IPE expects to resume the rabbit exhibit next year.

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The provincial Ministry of Agriculture said, “Rabbit hemorrhagic disease is an extremely infectious and lethal disease that causes internal bleeding and organ damage in rabbits.”

The province said as of mid-April, rabbits from Comox, Courtenay, Delta, Nanaimo, Parksville and Richmond had tested positive for the disease.

The IPE is scheduled to go ahead Aug. 29 to Sept. 2 in Armstrong.