Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

New rabbit virus to be released in parts of the Waikato

MEDIA RELEASE
27 February 2018

New rabbit virus to be released in parts of the Waikato

Waikato Regional Council will be releasing a virus to reduce the significant environmental and agricultural impacts of wild rabbits in some parts of the region.

It follows a decision by the Ministry for Primary Industries last week to grant approvals to Environment Canterbury, on behalf of a national consortium of agencies, for the importation and release of the new rabbit haemorrhagic virus disease strain, RHDV1 K5.

This is not a new virus. It is a Korean strain of the existing RHDV1 virus already widespread in New Zealand and only affects the European rabbit. RHDV1 K5 was selected for release because it can better overcome the protective effects of the benign calicivirus (RCA-A1), which occurs naturally in wild rabbit populations in New Zealand.

Biosecurity pest animals team leader Brett Bailey said: “This is not a silver bullet, but this new strain of virus is expected to support other control methods and help manage rabbits in areas where there are large populations of this pest.

“Rabbits contribute to erosion and undermine buildings with their burrowing, and they affect dune restoration and native restoration programmes too.

“Now’s the optimum time to act, and we aim to have the release completed by the end of April. We’ve been working closely with local councils, as well as the Department of Conservation, to identify the best areas in our region to carry out the initial release.”

In the Waikato, the virus will be released at sites in Pauanui, Whangamata, Thames, Matarangi, Hamilton, Cambridge, Taupo, Kuratau and Kinloch.

Mr Bailey said the council is aware of the conditions in the approval and will work to ensure they are met and effectively enforced. He said the release of the virus would be carried out by experienced contractors.

“The virus is specific to rabbits. Humans and other animals won’t be affected if they accidentally come into contact with carrots treated with the virus or the carcasses of rabbits killed by the virus,” he said.

A vaccine (Cylap) is available in New Zealand which has been helping to protect rabbits from the current RHDV1 for many years. Studies undertaken by the Australian government indicate that this vaccine will help protect pet and farmed rabbits against the RHDV1 K5 strain.

Pet rabbit owners are advised to talk to their local veterinarian to ensure their rabbits have the best protection available. Zoetis, the manufacturer of the vaccine, has confirmed that additional vaccine supplies have been made available in New Zealand for the release.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Lest We Forget: ANZAC Day - WWI 100 Year Anniversary

The Governor-General, The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, GNZM, QSO, will represent the people of New Zealand at the 2018 Anzac Day commemorations in Gallipoli. On Anzac Day, Dame Patsy will speak at the Joint New Zealand and Australian Dawn Service in Anzac Cove, and at the New Zealand Commemorative Service at Chunuk Bair later that morning... More>>

 

HiveMind: Fair Enough? How Should New Zealanders Be Taxed?

Have Your Say - Scoop and PEP invite you to share your issues, ideas and perspectives on the NZ tax system with other New Zealanders using Scoop’s HiveMind tool. This Tax HiveMind is intended to complement and feed into the review being run by the Government-appointed Tax Working Group (TWG), which is looking at the fairness, balance and structure of the tax system with a 10-year time horizon. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Thompson + Clark & Russia’s World Cup

Daily, the coalition government keeps running into examples of the toxic legacy left behind by National – and just as regularly, even the simple fixes are proving stubbornly difficult to enact. Take the case of the security firm Thompson + Clark ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The GCSB’s Security Hang-Up With Russia

So our GCSB has chimed in, alongside its British, Australian and US allies, with warnings about a “fresh wave” of Russian cyber attacks, although the warning has been curiously framed. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Europe Trip: CHOGM & Bilateral Meetings

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in Europe for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London and meetings with counterparts in Paris and Berlin. More>>

ALSO:


Addressing Climate Change: No New Offshore Exploration Permits

The Coalition Government is taking an important step to address climate change and create a clean, green and sustainable future for New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. More>>

ALSO:

Road Safety Summit: Actions To Improve Identified

The Local Government Road Safety Summit held last week identified actions that will lead to lasting changes to road safety in New Zealand, says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages