IN an attempt to get feral rabbits on the hop, the Cumberland Livestock Health and Pest Authority is set to release calicivirus across the municipality in April.
CLHPA ranger Daniel Shaw said the virus, also known as Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease, was already present in the area, but "helping with the spread" could cut feral populations by as much as 95 per cent.
However, he warned pet rabbit owners to contact their vet to ensure their pets were protected.
Only rabbits are susceptible - the disease causes loss of appetite, lethargy, high fever, spasms and sudden death as soon as 48 hours after coming into contact with the virus.
Rabbits can become infected by coming into contact with infected rabbits and their faeces, as well as mosquitoes and other insects.
"Vaccination is the number one tip for pet owners," Mr Shaw said.
Taking careful care of her rabbit will be Kiama Downs resident Laura Morgan.
Miss Morgan became the proud owner of Benji in Christmas 2011 and said she had been vaccinated against RHD already.
"There's two main things that kill rabbits, being myxomatosis and calicivirus, but myxomatosis you can't prevent," she said.
"She's like a baby, she really is.
"People say rabbits have no personality, but she's naughty - she'll pull up the carpet . . . and then pretend she's asleep.
"I dread the day anything happens to her, I do anything I can to keep her healthy."
Mr Shaw said the CLHPA would concentrate on the Gerringong, Gerroa and northern Kiama areas, building on the baiting programs previously conducted in the Werri Beach area.
"The release of calicivirus is an effective control method where there are susceptible populations of wild rabbits, especially around urban areas where traditional control methods such as using poisons and fumigants or shooting are restricted due to the risks involved," he said.
Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease virus has been used throughout NSW as a rabbit control measure and tests are under way in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven to confirm whether rabbits in the area would be susceptible.