Queanbeyan council set to poison rabbits in control program

PESTS: Rabbit poisoning will be undertaken in Queanbeyan.
PESTS: Rabbit poisoning will be undertaken in Queanbeyan.

A rabbit control program using poison will be undertaken by council targeting the river reserve adjacent to the Queanbeyan Golf Club.

 While shooting is the preferred method, a council spokeswoman said, in this area is was considered a high risk to public safety.

“Queanbeyan Police have discouraged this action due to the close proximity of residents and public access. This is therefore not a preferred option,” the spokeswoman said.

Queanbeyan residents are advised that council workers will be undertaking the poisoning program from August 31 to September 9.

The council was approached by Queanbeyan Golf Club to help contain the nuisance feral rabbits.  

The spokeswoman said rabbits are damaging the greens, digging up the fairways and creating erosion concerns along the river bank.

“Poisoning will occur on the strip of land at the back nine of the golf course, from the Greenleigh fire trail to the end of Dodsworth Street along the river.

The reserve connects the Greenleigh fire trail with the driving range adjacent to the suspension bridge. 

Council staff had investigated different options for control techniques, however they are limited due to the sensitive location of the burrows along the river bank, proximity to platypus burrows, species specificity and public safety.

“Poisoning has been considered as the preferred method followed by a RHDV virus release, also known as calicivirus or rabbit calicivirus disease,” the spokeswoman said.

The council will use pindone, an anticoagulant that needs to be ingested. 

“The contractor will construct bait stations which are fenced off sections with a wire roof restricting non-target species from the poison. These fenced cages will be clearly marked and signposted”.

The council has warned all people walking their dog through the area should have them on lead.

Signage advising that dogs are required to be on-lead and temporary ‘poisoning in progress’ signs will be erected on the fire trail and along the golf course.