Story: Rabbits

Myxomatosis experiment

Myxomatosis is caused by the myxoma virus, and was first identified killing rabbits in Uruguay in 1896. Trials of the disease began in Australia in 1938, and in 1950 it was released into the wild rabbit population with remarkable success. It was introduced to New Zealand in 1952, but did not spread. These scientists are injecting rabbits with the virus. In the mid-1980s farmers in semi-arid areas were pushing for the disease to be tried again in New Zealand. Listen to a runholder from the Mackenzie Country talking about the need for the release of myxomatosis and a speaker opposing its release.

Sound file from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero (Insight 92 – myxomatosis/Reference number T7177).

Using this item

Archives New Zealand - Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
Reference: AANR 6329 55 A 38-39-37 Ag 43914

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How to cite this page:

Robert Peden, 'Rabbits - Biological control', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 18 May 2022)

Story by Robert Peden, published 24 Nov 2008