Application for approval of use of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Virus Disease RHDV1-K5

Closing Date:

Contact: ACVM



The Canterbury Regional Council has applied for approval to introduce and use the Rabbit Haemorrhagic Virus Disease RHDV1-K5 for pest rabbit management. The intent is to introduce the strain nationally.

Applications have been made under both the Agricultural Chemicals and Veterinary Medicines (ACVM) Act 1997 and the Biosecurity Act 1993. The ACVM application has been notified in the New Zealand Gazette.

RHDV (a Czech strain) already exists in New Zealand, after it was introduced in 1997. This 2017 application is for a Korean strain that isn’t currently found here. The applications follow the Environmental Protection Authority’s decision that the new strain is not a new organism under the HSNO Act 1996.

MPI's role

Under the ACVM Act, the virus strain is classified as a Vertebrate Toxic Agent. This means it needs to be registered. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is consulting on the application under the ACVM Act, before making any decision on registering the virus.

MPI will consider benefits of the release to the agricultural sector, as well as identification and management of risks to animal welfare, agricultural impacts, trade and public health matters associated with the virus. This includes the risk to pet and farmed rabbits, and the availability of protection by a vaccine. MPI will follow a criteria for assessing applications to register the virus.

Any new strain that is released, propagated, and sold also needs to be approved under the Biosecurity Act. The RHDV1-K5 strain will only be approved if it meets the requirements under the ACVM and Biosecurity Acts.

Have your say

MPI is seeking your feedback on the application for approval to introduce and use the Rabbit Haemorrhagic Virus Disease RHDV1-K5 for pest rabbit management. Submissions close on 14 December 2017.

Making your submission

Email your feedback on the proposed application by 5pm on 14 December 2017 to

Make sure you include in your submission:

  • the title of the consultation document in the subject line of your email
  • your name and title (if applicable)
  • your organisation's name (if applicable)
  • your address.

While we prefer email, you can send your submission by post to:

ACVM/ Systems Audit, Assurance & Monitoring
Ministry for Primary Industries
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6140
New Zealand

Submissions are public information

Any submission you make becomes public information. Anyone can ask for copies of all submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we must make the information available unless we have a good reason for withholding it. You can find those grounds in sections 6 and 9 of the OIA. Tell us if you think there are grounds to withhold specific information in your submission. Reasons might include, it's commercially sensitive or it's personal information. However, any decision MPI makes to withhold information can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may require the information be released.

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