Rab­bit con­trol

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140 prop­er­ties will be sub­ject to in­spec­tion this month in stage two of a large-scale rab­bit con­trol pro­gram aimed at pro­tect­ing the Glenelg River and sig­nif­i­cant plants and an­i­mals at Chetwynd in West Wim­mera Shire.

Agri­cul­ture Vic­to­ria biose­cu­rity of­fi­cer James Rowe said the pro­gram would build on prop­erty in­spec­tions com­pleted last year and com­ple­ment a pre­vi­ous ex­ten­sion project in the river’s up­per reaches.

“Rab­bits in­flict sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic and en­vi­ron­men­tal cost, and the up­per reaches of the Glenelg River are par­tic­u­larly vul­ner­a­ble to rab­bits bur­row­ing on the bank mak­ing them un­sta­ble, in­creas­ing sed­i­men­ta­tion and lead­ing to the loss of valu­able veg­e­ta­tion,” he said.

Mr Rowe said Agri­cul­ture Vic­to­ria of­fi­cers would in­spect ev­ery prop­erty within the project area, with prop­er­ties found with rab­bit war­rens last year in­spected again to en­sure rab­bit­con­trol works were com­pleted.

“Dur­ing in­spec­tions, Agri­cul­ture Vic­to­ria staff will dis­cuss the pro­gram with land­hold­ers, pro­vide in­for­ma­tion to help with rab­bit con­trol spe­cific to each prop­erty, and com­pre­hen­sively map ar­eas of rab­bit ac­tiv­ity,” he said.

“Where in­fes­ta­tions of rab­bits are iden­ti­fied, land­hold­ers will be pro­vided with maps and in­for­ma­tion to as­sist with the de­struc­tion of rab­bit war­rens through rip­ping and fumigation.”

Mr Rowe said a com­bi­na­tion of con­trol meth­ods, such as fumigation and ‘rip­ping’ war­rens, was the most ef­fec­tive ap­proach to long-term rab­bit con­trol.

“Agri­cul­ture Vic­to­ria urges all land­hold­ers in the area to get in­volved and do their bit over the next 12 months to elim­i­nate the need for com­pli­ance ac­tion af­ter prop­er­ties are re-in­spected,” he said.

“It’s vi­tal that land­hold­ers act to­gether to min­imise the im­pact of one of our most de­struc­tive pests.

“Suc­cess­ful rab­bit man­age­ment is achieved when land­hold­ers work to­gether to im­ple­ment a range of con­trol meth­ods.”

Un­der the Catch­ment and Land Pro­tec­tion Act 1994, it is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of land­hold­ers to take all rea­son­able steps to con­trol, and as far as pos­si­ble, erad­i­cate, rab­bits on their prop­erty.

Peo­ple can visit http://go.vic.gov.au/HZ3YJV or call Agri­cul­ture Vic­to­ria’s cus­tomer ser­vice cen­tre on 136 186 for more in­for­ma­tion about pest an­i­mal con­trol.

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