Supporting landowners to control increased rabbit populations

​​The Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania (NRE Tas) understands that there are currently high rabbit populations across many parts of the state.

Calicivirus is used operationally by Biosecurity Tasmania to help manage wild rabbit populations, with calicivirus releases usually occurring during Autumn when environmental conditions are more favourable for the effective use of the virus.

Although environmental conditions have recently been suitable for the use of calicivirus, there is an ongoing Australia-wide shortage. The only laboratory able to manufacture calicivirus in Australia is experiencing supply issues and is unable to produce enough virus for jurisdictions across Australia.

This supply challenge, coupled with a short shelf life, means Tasmania currently does not have calicivirus for use and a release cannot occur. Tasmania is currently on a list with other jurisdictions waiting for the supply of calicivirus.

This means it is likely that Biosecurity Tasmania will not be able to release calicivirus in Tasmania until the beginning of 2025, when environmental conditions may once again be favourable.

In the meantime, there are a variety of control options that landowners can use depending on individual property factors. Advice on control options is available on the Tasmanian calicivirus release sites webpage.

Landowners can also get advice about control techniques from licensed pest controllers on the European Rabbits webpage.

Landowners are encouraged to report rabbit deaths to support data collection and planning. Please contact Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777 or email