Rabbit Control Program

Posted Tuesday 03 February 2015

Rabbit owners are encouraged to vaccinate their pets ahead of the feral rabbit control program. Mosman Council will be controlling feral rabbit populations with the release of the Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV) as part of a region-wide control program through the Urban Feral Animal Action Group. Release is planned for late March to early April (weather dependent).

Due to the wet and mild winter last year, rabbit populations have seen an explosion in numbers. Rabbits are known for their large scale destruction of agricultural and environmental assets. In metropolitan areas this includes parks and sporting fields as well as bushland areas.

Council encourages residents with pet rabbits to ensure their animals are vaccinated in advance (6 weeks is optimum) of the planned release of RHDV. All local vets have been advised.

The virus can be spread via direct contact with infected individuals and by insects, such as mosquitoes. The control agent is specific to rabbits and will not have adverse effects on other species, humans included. The release of the virus is timed to ensure improved effectiveness and the most beneficial outcome.

This is part of an ongoing annual control program that includes a range of control methods. RHDV is an appropriate tool in urban areas where other methods are restricted due to increased risk.