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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.

Progress on the release - one month on!

You will by now of course know that RHDV1 K5 has been released nationally, the first new rabbit biocontrol agent in 20 years.

We thank you for your support in the program so far and to the many of you who have reported disease and sent in samples to our labs - so we can monitor its movement and impact.

Where are we at, one month on?

While it is important to note it is early days in regards to data collection and commenting on effectiveness, we can provide a quick snapshot of results so far:

  • RHDV1 K5 releases have occurred in every state and territory within Australia.
  • A number of tissue samples have been sent in from release sites and of the samples that have been tested since the release, 66% have been confirmed RHDV1 K5 through our laboratories (red dots on map).
  • Post-release population counts are occurring throughout April at release sites across the country – this will provide immediate post-release information about the impact of the virus on rabbit populations. This data will be analysed towards the end of April and throughout May so stay tuned.
What does this mean?

We currently can confirm that rabbits are dying from RHDV1 K5 but we can't yet confirm impact on rabbit populations.

We are still encouraging everyone to report either dead rabbits or evidence of disease via RabbitScan and where possible to submit a tissue sample. This is the only way we will be able to officially detect RHDV1 K5.

These reports will then be added to the Rabbit Biocontrol Tracker. Yellow dots are reports of disease, with the red dots being confirmed RHDV1 K5 samples - so far. 

Virus activity will start to slow down over winter, but then we should see a resurgence during spring.  It is important to continue to collect samples from dead rabbits during this time as finding dead rabbits from RHDV1 K5 will be confirmation that is has established.

We also encourage all landholders to start to think about follow up control techniques post release of the virus and to talk with your local biosecurity officers and land managers in regards to making the best out of the virus release.

Map provided through the Rabbit Biocontrol Tracker - correct as of March 29, 2017

The first strike: ABC Landline covers the release

The final segment, in a series of segments aired by ABCs Landline program over the past 12 months, went to air on Sunday. Titled, First Strike: How the RHD-K5 virus is tracking one month on from release, the episode sees rural reporter Prue Adams (pictured on left) visit some of the release sites to find out if the virus is doing its job.

The segment also highlights how the whole project fits together, from those on the ground releasing the virus all the way through to our research teams in the labs, analysing the tissue samples.

We strongly recommend having a watch if you missed it.

[ WATCH HERE... ]

Report evidence of disease in 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 www.rabbitscan.org.au 

The Latest News:

CSIRO confirm first death of rabbit due to K5 virus - ABC News - 10 March 2017

DPI is going at virus like rabbits - Riverine Herald - 14 March 2017

Locals urged to report dead rabbits via portal as scientists track spread of new calicivirus strain - Lakes Mail - 15 March 2017

Lockyer's new asset in war on feral rabbits - Caboolture Times - 22 March 2017

First Victorian casualties confirmed from new rabbit calicivirus release - Grain Central - 24 March 2017

New calicivirus strain strikes rabbits - The Weekly Times - 27 March 2017 

Decrease in rabbit numbers, but no dead bodies found - Stawell Times-News - 29 March 2017

New rabbit virus strikes at Kaniva - The Weekly Advertiser - 29 March 2017
Have a question?
Visit our RHDV1 K5: Frequently asked questions page
Copyright © 2017 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  |   contact@invasiveanimals.com

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