Hills to Hawkesbury Living Magazine - - Community News -

RAB­BIT own­ers in The Hills Shire Coun­cil are be­ing urged to vac­ci­nate their an­i­mals prior to the re­lease of the new strain of Rab­bit Hae­m­or­rhagic Dis­ease Virus (RHDV-K5) be­fore the start of a feral rab­bit bait­ing pro­gram in Fe­bru­ary.

Led by Greater Syd­ney Lo­cal Land Ser­vices with the sup­port of ma­jor land­hold­ers, lo­cal coun­cils and en­vi­ron­men­tal agen­cies, the an­nual pro­gram takes an in­te­grated ap­proach to the re­duc­tion and man­age­ment of feral rab­bits.

Greater Syd­ney Biose­cu­rity and Emer­gency Ser­vices man­ager Gra­ham Wil­son said the pro­gram had been run­ning since 2009 and had proven highly ef­fec­tive thanks to the co­op­er­a­tion of prop­erty own­ers and lo­cal govern­ment.

“It’s im­por­tant peo­ple who own rab­bits vac­ci­nate for RHDV now to en­sure that if their do­mes­tic rab­bit comes in con­tact with the virus, mainly spread by con­tact be­tween other rab­bits and in­sects, they are im­mune,” Mr Wil­son said.

“Own­ers of pet rab­bits should con­sult with their vet now and main­tain a vac­ci­na­tion pro­gram to pro­tect their rab­bits,” Mr Wil­son said.

The pro­gram is ex­pected to be­gin in mid-Fe­bru­ary and run through to the end of March 2017.

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