Rabbits have been studied and used in medical research for more than a century, and their résumé of contributions to the advancement of science for the benefit of human and animal health is impressive. For example, Pasteur’s first post-exposure rabies vaccine was developed in 1884 from rabbits and for nearly a century it remained the only post-rabies vaccine available for humans. The first embryo transfer work was done on rabbits by Heape in 1891. Rabbits were the first animals used to study atherosclerosis and many other diseases. In fact, rabbits have played a key role in almost every aspect of medical science, including studies on herpesvirus, tuberculosis, genetics, immunology, surgical techniques, bone and joint healing process — the list is endless. Thanks to rabbits and the scientific information they have given us, people and their pets can now live longer, healthier lives.
For the full article, pick up the 2010 issue of Rabbits USA or click here to buy the issue.