South Canterbury farmer Philip Mackay used
a home blender to mix his deadly RCD cocktails.
Mr Mackay, of Streamlands Station, on Thursday
admitted he was part of a group of farmers who had
spread the virus in South Canterbury.
He said he and Peter Innes, of Black Forest Station,
mixed the liver, spleen, and heart of infected rabbits with
100ml of water in a blender. Othere used the same recipe.
The potent mixture was first injected into rabbits.
died but the spread of the disease was slow.
Mr Mackay said they then mixed their concoction with bait
-carrots and oats, and the virus spread quickly.
On Thursday the pair summoned the Ministry of Agriculture
official Ron Walker and Canterbury Regional Council chief pest
inspector Graham Sullivan to inspect a pile of dead and dying
rabbits at Streamlands, 30km inland from Burkes Pass.
Stunned officials were told the virus had been spread throughout
the South Island and parts of the North Island.
Mr Mackay said he and Mr Innes worked in secret for six weeks
to perfect their mixture.
Other farmers were also experimenting. They got infected rabbit
organs from Otago two days after the ministry declined an
application to bring the virus into New Zealand.
After experiments on rabbits on their property, the deadly
cocktail was spread among trusted friends. Soon, people in other
areas of the South Island were approached-cautiously and
secretively. Farmers were first asked their opinion on RCD.
Up to 30 farmers were involved in the South Island. Once the
virus mixture was supplied, the receiver would enlist the help
of other like-minded people. So began the spread of the virus
-long sought by farmers in the MAckenzie and Otago.
Government and council officials were amazed on Thursday to
learn that the virus had been spread throughtout Otago, South
and Mid-Canterbury, Malborough and parts of the North Island.
Any effort to stop it would be futile because the virus would appear
Mr Mackay said yesterday he did not know how widespread the virus
was in the North Island, but that it would appear soon on Molesworth
Station, and in the Waitak.
He said he was sure he and others had done the right thing in helping
spread the virus. He and otheres lived in fear that they might be
prosecuted under strick biosecurity laws. MAF chief veterinary officer
Dr Barry O' Neil told Mr Mackay late on Thursday that he would not
The Ministry was more interested in seeking those who brought the
virus into New Zealand.
Mr Innes told officials on Thursday that the virus was not brought
into New Zealand by a New Zealander, and that it had been in
the country since before the decision to ban it.
From NZ email "I have also been informed farmers are going down to
the Haldon road mail "Urquhart and Co in Fairlie to get
the virus. When they come back they ring up people and
don't say who they are. They then tell them, if they want
the virus, its under the Wai Bridge in a box, they do this
to avoid identification. Mr Satherwaite from Muller Station
was one of the first to bring the virus into Malborough.