RHDV1 has been used as a bio-agent for rabbit control in Australia since 1996. A new virus, RHDV2, has now been found in NSW, Victoria and SA. For more information see the Update from the Invasive Animals CRC.
The ABC Landline program has provided a thorough update on the pending release of the RHDVK5 virus. To see the story and transcript visit the Landline website.
The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has approved the registration of a new RHDV K5 strain of rabbit calicivirus that will strengthen Australia’s ability to manage wild rabbits. Read more at the Minister’s Media Release. Landholders can register to be part of the national release. See PestSmart for more information.
A new strain of RHDV (the rabbit calicivirus) is now on the move in South Australia, and researchers want to learn more about it. A blog from the Invasion Ecology Group of the University of Adelaide invites people to let them know of possible occurrences and to provide dead rabbits for examination.
Amazing increases in the distribution and occurrence of the dusky hopping mouse, plains mouse and crest-tailed mulgara have been attributed to rabbit control. RHDV suppressed rabbit numbers, reducing competition for food and the pressure from rabbit-dependent predators like cats and foxes. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cobi.12684/abstract
Planning is underway for the release in Australia of a calicvirus strain (RHDV1 K5) which is expected to perform well in cooler, wetter regions. http://http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-12/delayed-release-for-new-calici-strain/7083388?WT.mc_id=newsmail
An update on RHDV in Europe and the classification of different strains – including a ‘family tree’.PeacockD_Nov2015_RHDV2
PestSmart have released a set of answers to frequently asked questions about the new strain of RHDV- find out more at PestSmart (2015).
The ABC TV program Landline featured a story on rabbits and RHDV on March 25. The story looked back over the 11 years that RHDV has been active in the Australian environment and how it has impacted on rabbit populations during that time.
Efforts to reduce the destructive impact of rabbits have been enhanced with the appointment by Industry & Investment (I&I) NSW of research scientist Tarnya Cox to develop monitoring and release strategies for new strains of rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV).