Information has been disseminated across NSW in preparation for the release of a rabbit virus in March, in an attempt to curb growing pest rabbit populations.
The release of RHDV1 K5, the Korean strain of a naturally occurring rabbit virus, forms part of the national 20-year plan to reduce negative impacts on agriculture, the environment and communities.
NSW DPI invasive species manager Quentin Hart said information kits had been mailed to 265 community-release sites in NSW, prior to the March release.
‘‘The community is leading and managing the strategic release of the virus across NSW, with support from NSW DPI and Local Land Services,’’ Mr Hart said.
‘‘Three intensive management sites near Orange, Gundagai and Hay, linked with the community-led sites, will be managed and monitored by NSW DPI and Local Land Services.’’
NSW DPI has advised pet owners to vaccinate their rabbits and keep animals inside or in insect-proof enclosures to ensure they are well protected.
Pest rabbits cost the Australian agriculture industry more than $200million every year in lost production and affect more than 300 native plant and animal species.