Rabbit Calici K5 virus release update
The new K5 Calici virus for rabbits was released nationwide in late February this year. Blackwood Biosecurity Inc registered 6 sites as broad scale sites for the release of the new K5 calici virus. By February, only 2 of these sites proved suitable for the release as large areas of the Shire had been impacted on by a new calici virus strain, RHDV2, in late spring 2016. By the end of 2016 there were few rabbits in the east, north and west of Bridgetown. Landholders reported the lowest rabbit numbers in a decade. K5 was released at Yornup and Mockerdillup, with positive idenfication of infected dead rabbits at the Yornup site. At this time the virus did not appear to spread, possible due to low rabbit numbers and low levels of flies, known carriers of the virus.
The virus will be available for purchase by landholders later in the year, most likely in Spring. Ideally landholders would work with Blackwood Biosecurity to get the best possible spread in our area from the virus. Blackwood Biosecurity will keep you informed through our e news so that you can participate with your neighbours.
Meanwhile low numbers is a good time to carry out other rabbit control measures such as burrow ripping, fumigation and Blackwood Biosecurity has purchased a “Rodenator”, a burrow destruction device which works well in difficult areas such as native bush and rocky areas. Watch out (through e-news) for the forthcoming field days which will visit all areas of our region of operation over winter.