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Dry times ideal for cracking down on rabbits

Murray Local Land Services is urging landholders to take advantage of ideal conditions to control rabbit populations in the region.

Biosecurity officer John Nolan said the number of rabbits had increased markedly in recent times as a result of the ongoing dry weather.

“Because of the lack of rain, the virus vectors that normally work to control the population of rabbits have been ineffective,” he said.

“The dry spell has really reduced the impact of biological and natural control methods.”

However, he said, the conditions were ideal for another approach to curbing numbers of the pest.

“Because it has been so dry, there is a lack of green feed on the ground, which means that rabbit baiting is likely to work particularly well.”

Mr Nolan said Murray Local Land Services could supply participating landholders with bait laying equipment and quantities of poisoned carrots.

“We anticipate that with high competition among rabbits for dwindling food resources, the introduction of baits will have a strong uptake,” he said.

“Now is the ideal time for a widespread and coordinated baiting program.”

Mr Nolan said the bare paddocks would also make it easier to locate rabbit warrens for ripping and fumigation.

He encouraged landholders to contact Murray Local Land Services on 02 6051 2200 (Albury) or 03 5881 9900 (Deniliquin) for advice on information on controlling rabbits.

Landholders would need to have completed a chemical handling course to participate in rabbit baiting. This can be arranged through Murray Local Land Services.

Media contact: Matt Lane, Murray Local Land Services, 02 6051 2252.