Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) has given approval for the new strain of the rabbit calicivirus. The full statement can be read HERE
The local regional councils expect to start the release at the end of March this year (2018) hoping to have it fully released some time in April.
What this means for people with rabbits is once the virus goes through you will end up with approximately 35% less rabbits than you have now, in some areas there may be no difference, in other areas slightly more. This is the results they have found overseas, namely Australia where is was released over 12 months ago.
For people with smaller holdings it isn’t going to make a great deal of difference, for every 3-4 dead rabbits you see there will be another 6-7 that will not be affected.
However where the real difference will be is on bigger properties were even 35% is a huge number of rabbits. The stations and larger farms should be planning now on what follow up work they intend on doing as that is the critical part.