Reducing the rabbit scourge (B.AHE.0215)
Rabbits have been undermining livestock farmers’ environmental and economic sustainability since soon after European settlement. Today, rabbits are found all over Australia across a range of environments, infest more than 530 million hectares of land and cause $206 million in agricultural production losses each year. Biological controls, such as myxomatosis and rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD), have helped control rabbit numbers, however climatic factors and growing genetic resistance to RHD have driven the need for more-effective tools.
Research undertaken by Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre
What are we doing?
The Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD) Boost Project expects to deliver a new virus strain in about 2017. It is anticipated that it will perform better in the more temperate zones, where the present strain has had limited success or failed to establish at all. The RHD Boost will be released to rabbits via baits (most likely carrots) at strategic locations.