13 Dec 2021

The story of NZ's rabbit plague

From Nine To Noon, 9:30 am on 13 December 2021

Farmers, growers and regional authorities in the South Island are reporting large numbers of rabbits this year. Responsiblity for pest control falls to property owners under bylaws, and if a regional authority deems a property is non-compliant, it can do the work and bill the property owner. In close to 80 recent inspections, the Otago Regional Council found 41-percent of sites non-compliant.The rabbit calicivirus was introduced to the country illegally in 1997, and for a time was successful in keeping rabbit numbers down, but never erradicated them. So what methods of control are currently being used? What is the latest research, and where is the line between public and private responsibility for control of the pests? Kathryn speaks with Dr Janine Duckworth, Wildlife Ecology and Management researcher with Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research and James Spence, Biosecurity Team Leader, for Environment Canterbury.

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