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The Department of Primary Industries has announced the release of rabbit calicivirus for localised rabbit control as summarised below:

Biosecurity Advisory 12/2015
Biosecurity Tasmania intends to undertake release of rabbit calicivirus, also known as rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus, for biological control of European rabbit populations at various sites throughout Tasmania during March and April 2015. This release is part of a strategic and integrated program to support Tasmanian landowners in their rabbit control activities. Rabbits are a devastating invasive species and cause significant damage to the natural environment and agricultural industries in Tasmania.

Rabbit calicivirus is a highly specific viral disease which only affects European rabbits. It is used by Biosecurity Tasmania where significant negative impacts on the environment have been identified and the use of other control methods by landowners is not suitable.

Rabbit calicivirus is released on carrots following a period of pre-feeding with carrots to attract rabbits to the release site. Release sites will be on public and private land. All public land where rabbit calicivirus is being released will be clearly signposted during the release operation.

Rabbit calicivirus poses no risk to human health or other non-target species. However, it is important to note that rabbit calicivirus is present in the wild rabbit population in Tasmania and domestic rabbits may be affected at any time. Domestic rabbit owners and commercial rabbit breeders should consult their local vet about vaccinations.

For further information about the rabbit calicivirus release, please contact Biosecurity Tasmania on 6165 3777 or visit the rabbit calicivirus disease information page here

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The Pandani Club often has extended stays at the Baden Powell Scout Lodge, near the start of the renowned Overland Track, which winds its way for 60 kilometres through the World Heritage listed Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park. The photo above was taken at dusk looking south from the verandah of the Baden Powell Lodge, in the direction of the track. [Photo: Terry Vince]
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