Rollout of RHDV1 K5 in Australia: information guide

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Rabbits are estimated to cause over $200 million dollars in damage to Australian agriculture every year, and they are recognised as a potential threat to at least 304 native threatened species. As a consequence of the damage they cause, rabbits are managed wherever they occur. Historically, this was achieved using exclusion fencing and conventional methods such as warren destruction, fumigation and poison baiting. However, broad-scale population level control was not possible until the introduction of two biocontrol agents — myxoma virus (MYXV) and rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV).

The Invasive Animals CRC and its predecessor organisations have been successfully leading rabbit biocontrol research in collaboration with government and research agencies and industry partners since the early 1990s.

Observations of growing resistance to RHDV1 v351 resulted in the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre (IA CRC) commissioning the RHD Boost project. The objective of the project was for Australian Governments and industry to work together to find a RHDV1 strain to improve rabbit biocontrol effectiveness in Australia. The search and evaluation led to a naturally occurring RHDV1 variant from Korea (RHDV1 K5) being selected for further testing.

This booklet provides information on rabbit biocontrol in Australia and the RHD Boost project. It outlines how to get involved in the proposed release of RHDV1 K5 and where you can get further information.

Author Jason Wishart and Tarnya Cox
Year 2016
Publisher Centre for Invasive Species Solutions
Pages 24
Control method Biological Control
Region Australia - national
Documents Download the booklet: Rollout of RHDV1 K5 in Australia [ 2 Mb PDF ]