This update is part of the Healthier Landscapes campaign: improving the health of our land through integrated rabbit management.
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RHD Boost Update is an initiative of the healthier landscapes campaign, produced by the Invasive Animals CRC to keep you informed about the progress and the National RHDV Monitoring Program and national release of RHDV1 K5 to boost rabbit biocontrol. Visit us at 

Statement from The Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, has welcomed the 755 expressions of interest received from groups wanting to take part in the national roll-out of the new rabbit virus, RHDV1 K5.

Minister Joyce said community organisations, Landcare groups and government land managers will be participating in the national roll-out of the virus as part of the Coalition Government’s $1.2 million commitment to assist with the research and development of new rabbit control methods.

“Australia has a good track record when it comes to the biological control of rabbits. When we first released rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus in 1995, populations had multiplied to around 600 million, and we managed to reduce this by 98 per cent in arid areas,” Minister Joyce said.

“This built on the massive reductions achieved in the 1950s from the release of the myxoma virus, which killed more than 85% of Australia’s rabbit population.

“It gave the environment time to regenerate and our farmers a fighting chance to keep rabbits at bay using traditional pest management techniques like baiting and traps."

Read the full statement here... ]

Preparing for the release of RHDV1 K5 in 2017

On September 6th, all individuals and groups who expressed interest to be involved in the national release of RHDV1 K5 were notified of the outcome of their application.
If you expressed interest on behalf of your site and didn’t receive an email notification of your outcome, please let us know by calling or emailing us at the contact details at the bottom of this email.
All successful sites are in the process of being further notified of their site details and what to do in preparation for the release, still proposed for March 2017.
We again thank everyone who took the time to apply and implore those sites that were not selected as a release site to still be actively involved in the program through tracking the spread of the virus and collecting samples for analysis.
You can get involved by downloading the RabbitScan app from

RabbitScan hits the 12,000 milestone 

Since its launch in 2011, RabbitScan has been helping thousands of landholders and community groups all over Australia to record rabbit problems in their local area, and to use the RabbitScan map to improve the management of rabbits in their region. There is much community support for its use around the country, and we are proud to see that more than 12,000 records of rabbits, their damage and now evidence of disease have been entered into the RabbitScan database.
Peter West, FeralScan coordinator said “many landholder groups and communities are now working together to use RabbitScan to map problem areas for rabbits, such as rabbit warrens along roadsides, and are using the data they have gathered to plan and coordinate cost-efficient rabbit control as a group. They are seeing benefits from working together and from using this free website and Phone App to help them tackle the problem”.
Mr West said there are many great examples of community groups using this resource to improve their rabbit management outcomes using RabbitScan.
If RabbitScan is something you would be interested in using in your local area, please email Mr West at   

RHDV2 being monitored as part of large scale national program

In 2015, a biosecurity outbreak occurred with the detection of a novel virus into Australia called RHDV2; this virus has now spread throughout most of Australia.
This outbreak may have implications on the effectiveness of RHDV1 K5, which is proposed for release March 2017. As a result, the Australian Government has supported an expansion of the national monitoring program to better understand the epidemiology and monitor the movement of RHDV2 within Australia so scientists can provide the best advice to land managers in regards to rabbit control.
The National RHDV Monitoring Program is one of the best available programs in the world to be able to track the spread and impact of RHD viruses in Australia. With the many hundreds of expressions of interest from the community to assist in monitoring RHD viruses, including RHDV2, the National RHDV Monitoring Program is an excellent example of community supported science.
As data becomes available we are posting the spread of rabbit viruses on our Rabbit Biocontrol Tracker through RabbitScan – click on Report Disease at to view this information and we urge all individuals to report any evidence of disease you may come across yourself.

Recent online media coverage
Have a question? Visit our RHDV1 K5: Frequently asked questions page
Missed an update? View the RHD Boost archives here
Copyright © 2016 Invasive Animals CRC

RHD Boost Update is administered by the the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre
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