The latest update from the Healthier Landscapes campaign: RHDV1 K5 has been released
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RHD Boost Update is produced by the Invasive Animals CRC to keep you informed about the progress and national release of RHDV1 K5 to boost rabbit biocontrol.

The Korean strain of RHDV1 has been released

Beginning as the Invasive Animals CRC RHD Boost research project in 2009, we are pleased to see more than 6.5 years of rigourous scientific testing, approval processes and community-led collaboration has culminated in the first release of a new rabbit biocontrol agent in 20 years, known as RHDV1 K5.

Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce and NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair, announced the release of RHDV1 K5, which took place (or is taking place) at more than 600 sites across Australia.

The national release of RHDV1 K5 has been delivered through the Invasive Animals CRC, with major financial and in kind resources provided by the Australian and NSW governments, CSIRO, Meat & Livestock Australia, Australian Wool Innovation and Foundation for Rabbit Free Australia.

“Australian, state and territory governments, hand-in-hand with research and industry bodies worked together since 2009, screening 38 strains of RHDV, to identify an effective strain which could manage the wild rabbit populations which devastate our nation,” Mr Joyce said.

Congratulations to the RHD Boost research team (led through NSW DPI), the state and territory coordinators, all the project partners and of course to all the amazing community groups, farmers and producers around Australia who released the virus to help protect the Australian environment, boost our agricultural industry and create healthier landscapes.

Monitoring and evaluation of the release is ongoing and we'll provide updates as they come to hand.

(Images above supplied by South West NRM, QLD, NSW LLS, Ag Victoria, PIRSA and NSW DPI)

Report rabbit sightings in RabbitScan!

Now that the virus has been released we want all members of the public to report evidence of rabbits and rabbit disease into RabbitScan.

Even if you aren't a release site, you can still report disease via the FeralScan smartphone app or website and follow the prompts.

When reporting disease, you can also request a tissue sample kit to be mailed to you, so our labs can confirm how the rabbit died. All we ask is that you place the dead rabbit in the freezer while the kit is mailed out.

You can download the app via the iTunes or GooglePlay stores or you can visit the RabbitScan portal at 

(image supplied by NSW LLS)

Need more info? Visit the Healthier Landscapes portal

Visit the Healthier Landscapes portal as your one-stop-shop for all information relating to the release of RHDV1 K5. The page includes:

  • Information about the release, including a new RabbitScan App tutorial,
  • an RHDV K5 information booklet for download,
  • a suite of instructional videos to assist land managers of release sites,
  • an updated frequently asked questions page,
  • how to report evidence of rabbits and rabbit disease, and
  • many more fact sheets, reports and video resources

You can visit the portal at

Rabbit expert, Greg Mutze discusses the release of RHDV1 K5 with ABC Landline

Reporter, Prue Adams spoke with Greg Mutze, rabbit researcher with the Invasive Animals CRC based at Primary Industries and Regions SA, about the national release of RHDV1 K5. Prue is currently travelling around Australia this week to visit a few release sites and interview our research teams, so watch this space for a special update soon on ABC Landline which airs every Sunday at 12pm on ABC1. 

The Latest News:

Over the past month, more than 1000 online media articles were generated about the release of RHDV1 K5 - here are some highlights from around the country:

Rabbit virus kits puts power back into hands of farmers - ABC News - 24 February 2017

Rabbit plague: Carrots to be laced with biological Korean virus to cull feral species - The Sunday Telegraph - 26 February 2017

New RHDV1 K5 strain to be released to get the jump on wild rabbits nationwide - The Land - 26 February 2017

New calicivirus strain to wipe out 40 per cent of wild rabbits in Canberra - Canberra Times - 27 February 2017

Rabbit virus release starts in South Australia - The Murray Valley Standard - 01 March 2017

Rabbit calicivirus: Parcel bomb hits bunnies in Victoria - The Weekly Times - 01 March 2017

Rabbit Board is close to having control - SurartBasin - 02 March 2017

New biological weapon targets farmers’ no. 1 pest - Australian Farmers - 03 March 2017
Have a question?
Visit our RHDV1 K5: Frequently asked questions page
Copyright © 2015 Invasive Animals CRC

RHD Boost Update is administered by the the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre
Building 22, University of Canberra, University Drive South, BRUCE  ACT  2617
Ph: +61 2 6201 2887  |

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