Myxomatosis vs. The UEA Rabbits

by David Winlo


The logo for this magazine, an icon of the university, and something to brighten even your most essay-burdened days. The rabbits that inhabit UEA’s main campus are both famous and well loved. Sadly, they’ve recently been suffering from one of the rabbit’s worst natural enemies – a deadly virus called Myxomatosis, or ‘Myxy’.

The disease has been present in the UK for over sixty years, at the start of which time it spelled certain doom to any and all rabbits unlucky enough to encounter it. In this country and in Australia it has been used to control populations of rabbits which spiral out of control. These days however, an increasing number of rabbits show resistance to the virus. Those who are unlucky enough to catch the highly infectious disease though develop skin tumours, often blindness. They develop a fever and become fatigued, and sadly the disease is usually fatal within a fortnight.

Readers may now fear for the beloved East Anglian rabbits, or perhaps their own pet rabbits at home – but don’t worry! As for your pets, a vaccine is available, and should be given to your rabbit if possible, as the disease can’t be cured. And our own university rabbits too should be okay – there have been casualties, but there are survivors, and easily enough of them to make it through this outbreak. Have no fear, the UEA rabbits will win this battle!

(image courtesy of Nathan Anderson, at

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