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Australia to spend over $11mn to eradicate carps by releasing herpes virus into river

Submitted by: Odio @ 10:14 AM | Monday, May 2, 2016 | (url: https://www.rt.co...)

As much as 15 million Australian dollars will be spent on funding the clearing of the Murray-Darling Basin from the countrys worst freshwater feral pest. This will be included into Tuesdays federal budget, Australian authorities said on Sunday.

Interestingly enough, the war on fish is to be waged by an unusual means the water will be contaminated with a special type of herpes, known as koi herpes.

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation scientists have been carrying out various tests for nearly a decade on other animals including chickens, mice, frogs, turtles and water dragons to determine the safety and suitability of the virus in dealing with an excessive carp population.

The virus was proven to be harmless to humans and animals, but it causes kidney failure in carps, attacks their skin and kills the fish after sitting tight in its system for about seven days.

It causes high death rates in common carp and in the ornamental koi carp. No other species of fish, including goldfish, are known to be affected by the virus, CSIRO official website says.

It affects the European carp by attacking their kidneys, their skin, their gills and stopping them breathing effectively, Australian Science Minister Christopher Pyne said, according to ABC news.

They have the virus for a week before they show any symptoms and it suddenly kills them within 24 hours, he added.

Its been calculated that the carp-control program planned to be launched in 2018 will kill 95 percent of the targeted fish over the next 30 years.

The project cant be brought to life right away since it is still to be determined how to deal with dead bodies most effectively. A significant part of the budgeting is to be spent specifically on a clean-up program.

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