News & CommentVirology

Australia Fends Off Critic of Plan to Eradicate Rabbits

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Science  12 Apr 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5259, pp. 191-192
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5259.191


Geelong, Australia—A plan to study the natural course of the Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (RHD) virus, also known as Rabbit Calicivirus Disease, among a quarantined population of feral rabbits went awry last fall when the virus escaped and spread to the mainland. Now the Australian government is awaiting approval for a large-scale release of the deadly virus in an effort to free the country of a $115-million-a-year scourge. A U.S. virologist, however, is waging a vocal campaign to delay the release until more is known about the virus's ability to infect other animals, including humans.