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30 August 1997
The Ministry of Agriculture has received the first confirmed positive laboratory result for rabbit calicivirus disease (RCD) in the Canterbury area.
One dead rabbit from near Culverden, north of Christchurch, has tested positive for the disease. This is the most northern result to date.
The disease is now widespead in the McKenzie basin and Central Otago.
There have been no confirmed cases of RCD in the North Island, and aeriel and ground surveillance has found nothing unusual, although some farmers have reported releasing the virus in rabbit prone areas of the North Island.
Media inquiries to:
Dr Barry O'Neil, Chief Veterinary Officer, (04) 474 4128/(021) 470 582
Debbie Gee, Manager, Corporate Communications (04) 474 4258/(04) 380 0087-hm