Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s Environment and Services Committee today received a report on the proposed national release of the next strain of rabbit calicivirus (RHDV1 K5).
This strain of virus is currently going through an importation process in New Zealand with the possibility of release April - May 2017. This variant is a Korean strain better adapted to overcome the protective effects of the existing immunity to calicivirus.
Rabbits are a declared pest in Hawke’s Bay Regional Pest Management Plan. The control work is the responsibility of the landowner and HBRC meets 50% of the cost of rabbit control.
Following the illegal, unplanned release in 1998 of rabbit calicivirus disease (RHDV1), rabbits are now, in many cases, immune to this strain and populations are again flourishing in some areas. The average immunity in Hawke’s Bay rabbits is 55-75%.
The New Zealand Rabbit Coordination Group (RCG) and Landcare Research are seeking approval from Ministry for Primary Industries and the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to introduce the RHDV1 K5 into New Zealand.
A national controlled release is preferable to ensure that a higher quality, commercially prepared product is used. The managed release also can be monitored and ensure maximise benefits to farmers and the environment.
If national approvals are given, HBRC proposes a coordinated release of the new virus into Hawke’s Bay in May 2017. HBRC Biosecurity staff are preparing an operational plan. They are considering 30 sites where historically rabbit numbers are high and there can be an effective release.
In terms of pet rabbits, HBRC Biosecurity staff confirm that the existing vaccination to protect pet rabbits against calicivirus will work for this strain. They are advising vets, pet shops and rabbit breeders of the need to maintain vaccinations.
15 March 2017
Disclaimers and Copyright
While every endeavour has been taken by the Hawke's Bay Regional Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Hawke's Bay Regional Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. Hawke's Bay Regional Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.
© Hawke's Bay Regional Council - www.hbrc.govt.nz / +64 6 835 9200 / email@example.com