Rabbit Control Programs

Published on 22 January 2019


Late summer/early autumn provide the ideal conditions to begin your rabbit control program. The warmer, drier months help to reduce rabbit numbers through a combination of less feed being available and the impact of the biological controls: Calicivirus and Myxomatosis. These biological controls are already in the environment and are spread by insects (flies, fleas & mosquitos).

Rabbits cause significant damage to agriculture and the natural environment.  Under the Victorian Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, all landholders have a legal duty to prevent the spread of, and as far as possible eradicate, rabbits on land they own or manage.

To assist local land owners undertake rabbit control, Council is sharing information about local Landcare rabbit baiting programs as part of an integrated approach to rabbit control.

Council, in partnership with Landcare groups and local land managers, will continue to deliver its control program for key rabbit hotspots in the Surf Coast Shire. 

To reduce rabbit harbour, Council will conduct its regular woody weed control works on municipal roadsides over the coming months targeting Gorse, Broom, African Boxthorn (all Weeds of National Significance) and Sweet Briar (a Regionally Controlled Weed).

Landholder action to reduce rabbit numbers

Taking an integrated approach to rabbit management, in collaboration with your neighbours, provides the most effective results.  Agriculture Victoria recommends the following key actions:

  • Allow biological control and natural mortality to reduce the rabbit population;
  • Bait to reduce numbers prior to ripping;
  • Remove surface harbour (above ground shelter) and destroy warrens;
  • Follow up with fumigation and further warren destruction; and
  • Be persistent, remain vigilant and monitor regularly.

 For helpful information and demonstration videos on rabbit control, visit Pestsmart

Community Baiting Programs

To participate in any of these programs, contact the relevant group directly and pre-order your carrot bait.

Barrabool Hills Landcare Group
17, 20 & 24 February 2020. Details about their program and how to order are available on their website. www.barraboolhillslandcare.org.au. Orders are due by 7 February 2020.

Surf Coast Rabbit Action Network
Freshwater Creek (18, 21 & 25 February 2020). Orders are due by 7 February 2020
Modewarre (27 February, 2 & 5 March 2020). Orders are due by 20 February 2020
Rob Bullen: rob.bullen@bigpond.com or 0407 353 575
Collin: clcannard@gmail.com or 0417 522 352

Surf Coast and Inland Plains Landcare Network
Modewarre (20, 23 and 26 March 2020. Orders are due by 10 March 2020
Murray: murray.scipn@gmail.com or 0455 500 542  

Landholders who choose to use the rabbit baits are responsible for their safe use including both human and environmental health and avoiding harm to non-target animals

For further information please refer to the Australian Government’s ‘Ground baiting of rabbits with pindone’ standard operating procedure www.pestsmart.org.au/ground-baiting-of-rabbits-with-pindone/ or contact Council for a copy.