I like gardening. I recently purchased some rhaphiolepsis snow maiden and liriope as 10 cm tube stock for winter planting. Unfortunately my purchase did not go unnoticed by a “pesky wabbit” who decided to treat my new plants as its personal salad bar (some of them are down to about 2cm). Feeling like a hybrid of Elmer Fudd and Mr MacGregor (think Peter Rabbit), I checked out the council website to see if they could assist. There was some interesting information including that:
- council have an active rabbit and fox baiting (and shooting) program and apparently, rabbits are not a menu item for foxes (so decreasing fox numbers doesn’t result in increased rabbit numbers);
- I could report my rabbit (or fox) sighting on www.feralscan.org.au (or its associated app), which I did (although it wasn’t going to fix my problem);
- the Rural Lands Act says that a land owner is responsible for pests on their land. While I had my doubts that the Act applied in suburban Lindfield (and in any event it has been repealed and replaced with the Bio-security Act), the message was clear enough i.e. “don’t call the council”;
- rabbits don’t like the smell of blood and bone (they’re not alone) and spreading that around can help. You can also boil up a mixture of garlic and chilli (with a dash of tobasco) to spray on the tasty plants to deter the rabbit; and
- there was a warning that the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act applies i.e. while council can poison and shoot, residents are limited to stinking them out and are otherwise prohibited from hurting them.
I actually did email the council and eventually received an invitation to undertake a Vertebrate Pesticide Training Course (1080 and Pindone) to allow me to bait on my own property (but I would also need a permit from the Australian Pesticides & Veterinary Medicines Authority because the property is smaller than 1000sqm). I would then have to go to the council depot to pick up the poison carrot. I wasn’t that keen on those ideas. However, council was also offering the option of borrowing a cage trap. I would have to take the trapped rabbit (if any) to a specific local vet hospital so that the $45 euthanasia fee would be paid by the council. Apparently 6 rabbits (making huge impact on local population) have met their end this way.
The good news is that I haven’t seen the rabbit for a couple of weeks. Either the deterrents worked or its found tastier gardens or ….
Creative commons acknowledgment for the photograph.