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This decision is a significant milestone for the national consortium of agencies seeking to release RHDV1 K5 to reduce the significant environmental and agricultural impacts of wild rabbits.
The major nationwide release will be undertaken through March and April 2018, as research suggests this is the optimal time to increase the effectiveness of the virus against wild rabbit populations. The controlled release will use a high-quality commercially prepared product at selected sites identified by participating local councils.
Whilst not the ‘silver bullet’ for rabbit control, it is anticipated that the new strain will greatly assist the control of wild rabbit populations by supplementing more traditional control methods. The impact of the RHDV1 K5 release will be monitored at a range of representative sites.