The Ministry for Primary Industries has received an application to approve the use of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Virus Disease RHDV1 –K5 for pest rabbit management.
RHDV (Czech strain) already exists in New Zealand, after it was introduced in 1997. This 2017 application is for a Korean strain that isn’t currently found here.
The ministry has notified the application under the Agricultural Compound Veterinary and Medicines Act and will consider any submissions before making a decision on the data that have been submitted in support of the registration.
The consultation closes on December 14.
The ministry will consider benefits of the release to the agricultural sector, as well as identification and management of risks to animal welfare, agricultural impacts, trade and public health matters associated with the virus. This will include consideration of the risks posed to non-target animals such as pet rabbits.
“The strain of RHDV that already exists in New Zealand has a vaccine which is being used to protect against the new strain in other countries,” says Allan Kinsella, the ministry’s Director Systems Audit, Assurance and Monitoring.
“As part of MPI’s assessment we will be considering evidence of protection against the new strain.”
Any new strain that is released, propagated, and sold also needs to be approved under the Biosecurity Act.
RHDV1-K5 strain will be approved only if it meets the requirements under the Agricultural Compound Veterinary and Medicines Act and Biosecurity Acts.
The Canterbury Regional Council has made the application. The intent is to introduce the strain nationally.