Hume targets rabbits in Sunbury

Hume has rabbits in its sights as it undertakes a control program to rid the pests from parts of Sunbury.

Council will implement a number of abatement strategies from 29 February 2016 until 8 April 2016.

Hume Mayor, Councillor Helen Patsikatheodorou, said rabbits had caused many problems for the township.

“The European rabbit is very active in Sunbury, and it’s labelled by the Australian Government as the nation’s most serious vertebrate pest,” Cr Patsikatheodorou said.

“The rabbits graze to an extraordinary level, and this makes it hard for native vegetation to regenerate.

“The pests cause soils to erode and they take away food that is relied on by native animals.

“Hume City Council works hard to stay on top of rabbits, partly because they breed so well.

“A female European rabbit can give birth to 28 kittens in just one year, and each kitten is able to move onto new areas of land at just three months of age.

“These pests can destroy landscapes, and they don’t distinguish between public and private properties.”

Hume will target rabbit hotspots and use bait to poison the pests at the following Sunbury reserves:

  • Emu Bottom Wetlands;
  • The Parkway Reserve; and
  • The Glade Reserve.

Council shall also fumigate burrows at four sites, being:

  • Albert Road Reserve;
  • Sunbury Fields estate;
  • Emu Valley Reserve; and
  • The Nook (also known as Nook Bicentennial Park).

Cr Patsikatheodorou said a number of residents would also help Hume with additional control measures.

“Various landowners have formed the Sunbury Rabbit Action Group, which will focus on other sites where rabbits are virulent,” she said.

“Further, anyone who lives near the areas that Council shall target is also very welcome to undertake works on their own land, because this will help to reduce rabbit numbers more successfully in the long term.

“Autumn is the best time of year to control rabbits, and Council is keen to work with members of the Sunbury community to make a big difference.”

Owners of dogs should not walk their pets without a leash in any area that is subject to rabbit abatement strategies.

Hume will utilise a poison bait called Pindone, which is made from oats and considered a low risk to domestic animals.

Anyone who thinks their pet may have swallowed rabbit bait should contact a vet immediately to assess the animal and access the antidote Vitamin K, if required.

Cr Patsikatheodorou said Council would closely monitor the success of the control program.

“Our officers shall count rabbits in May and June, and undertake further baiting or fumigation if required,” she said.

Anyone who would like further information about Hume’s rabbit abatement strategy should visit here or call 03 9205 2200.

Posted on 12:00 AM, 25 February 2016


Updated : 1:43 PM, 3 March 2016

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