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New version of notorious rabbit killing virus to be released in Otago and Canterbury

A new version of a notorious rabbit killing virus is being released by in a bid to combat a plague of rabbits in Otago.

It's hoped the new strain will kill at least 40 per cent of the rabbit population. Source: 1 NEWS

Portobello farmer Brendon Cross says rabbits have been a real pain for farmers over the last eight or 10 years.  

"Last November we shot over 2000 rabbits and we were still shooting numbers in December, it didn't seem to make a dint," Mr Cross says. 

The regional council will be lacing carrots with the Korean K5 strain of the rabbit virus. 

It's hoped that the new strain will kill at least 40 per cent of European Rabbit population. 

Pet rabbit owners raised their concerns, but the official advise is to get the pets vaccinated. 

The initial success of the virus operation will be known in the coming weeks.