NEWS THAT MATTERS

Vaccinate pet rabbits now

Central Coast rabbit owners area being urged to vaccinate their pets before a new feral rabbit control program begins on 17 March.

Feral rabbits - an environmental pest.

1 March 2022

 

LED by Greater Sydney Local Land Services with the support of major landholders, local council and environmental agencies, the rabbit vaccination program will see the release of the Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus known as RHDV1-K5 (RHDV).

 

Greater Sydney District Veterinarian Dr Lisa Goodchild said feral rabbits were a major agricultural and environmental pest, contributing to contributing to the decline and extinction of a number of NSW native species and costing the Australian economy more than $200 million in production losses each year.

 

Dr Goodchild said it was important domestic rabbit owners went to their local vets to vaccinate their pets prior to the March release.

 

“The virus is spread mainly by contact between rabbits or via insects such as mosquitos and flies and can travel significant distances. Importantly, RHDV doesn’t affect any other animals and if domestic rabbits are vaccinated, they become immune.

 

“We have seen an increase in feral rabbit activity and subsequent landholder complaints on the Coast in recent months.

 

“This program is designed to complement ongoing control efforts on private and public land,” she said. “We encourage landholders experiencing issues with feral rabbits to continue working with us throughout the year and report feral rabbit damage,” she said.

Rabbit warrens at Avoca Beach.

Feral rabbits are a declared pest in NSW due to the significant amount of agricultural and environmental damage they cause.

 

The program will be rolled out right throughout the Central Coast including identified problem areas such as Avoca and McMasters Beach.

 

For more information contact Greater Sydney Local Land Services on 1300 795 299.

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