Feral rabbits are an environmental pest and their impact on the Australian landscape has been disastrous. They have been listed as a key threatening process under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). They are prevalent throughout the Shire. You can help control rabbit populations by controlling them on your property.
- The Department of Agriculture provides technical information about these and other pest animals.
- For further guidance regarding rabbits on private land, call our Land Management Officer on 9433 3111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- To report rabbits on Council land contact us on 9433 3111.
- The Rabbit Action Plan (PDF, 3MB) provides information on this major threat to biodiversity and agricultural production in Nillumbik. Rabbits have a significant impact on the economy, environment and community. Rabbit management is driven by State and Federal Legislation and policies, including the legal requirement, under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, for landowners to control and prevent the spread of rabbits. The Rabbit Action Plan and all rabbit control activities undertaken by Council operate within this context.
Rabbit Control Program
Rabbit control is undertaken during the year through priority bushland reserves in Nillumbik Shire.
Council utilises a non-chemical, non-poison approach by employing a specialist contractor who uses ferreting, netting and warren closure techniques.
Reserves are selected for rabbit control based on a number of factors, including public usage, protection of biodiversity assets, rabbit numbers, prior investment in rabbit control and where Council can achieve a coordinated approach with (large) adjoining areas owned privately or by other public land managers.
During these times dogs must be kept on lead and detours may be in place.
Works are conducted by a licensed contractor using non-chemical and non-poison rabbit control techniques.
Be aware that it is illegal to interfere with the operations of any pest control program and fines may be issued.
For further information on this project contact Environmental Works team leader by emailing email@example.com or call 9433 3111.
Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV)
In order to help control pest rabbits, RHDV1 – K5 (Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus) has been released in Victoria.
The classical RHDV1 strain was first released in Australia in 1996 to control pest rabbits. Over time the effectiveness of the virus as a biocontrol agent has been decreasing. To boost the RHDV1 strain’s effectiveness, state and territory governments around Australia released RHDV1a, a new naturally occurring variant of RHDV1, in March 2017.
Anyone who owns pet rabbits should make sure their vaccinations are up to date to protect against the virus.
For further information on RHDV or vaccinating your pet rabbit, go the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, or the Australian Veterinarian Association website.