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... ]