Rabbits as Pets
Rabbits are cute, cuddly and make great pets but, unfortunately, they’re also one of Australia’s most destructive feral animals.
The RSPCA recommends pet rabbits are desexed and vaccinated against rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) virus. Please talk to your vet about RHD virus.
Please ensure pet rabbits are contained in a secure cage or hutch and away from feral rabbit populations. Also, cover their hutch with a mosquito net in the warmer months.
Please do not dump your pet rabbit in bushland. The dumping of rabbits is contributing to the increase in feral rabbits in Warringah.
Feral rabbit populations are increasing across northern Sydney. Feral rabbits are a declared pest and are responsible for major environmental damage, including the destruction of native vegetation, sportsfields, reserves, urban lawns and gardens.
Australia has been engaged in feral rabbit control programs since the 1920s and it has been found that the control of feral animal populations in urban areas is most effective when carried out in a coordinated manner.
The Sydney-North Regional Feral Animal program includes the control of feral rabbits and foxes. Warringah Council, in conjunction with the National Parks and Wildlife Service and 13 other agencies carry out control programs in the Sydney-North region.
Other agencies in Sydney-North Region are: Cumberland Livestock Health and Pest Authority, National Parks and Wildlife Service, State Forests, Pittwater Council, Manly Council, Ku-ring-gai Council, Hornsby Council, The Hills Shire Council, Parramatta Council, Ryde Council, Lane Cove Council, North Sydney Council, Mosman Council and Hunters Hill Council.
To discourage feral rabbits from coming onto your property:
- Erect fences around the perimeter
- Place blood and bone around the property boundary
- Spray plants with a liquid deterrent made from boiled garlic and chilli and reapply after rain.
Under the Rural Lands Protection Act 1989 Duty of occupiers of land to suppress and destroy noxious animals (cf Act No 35, 1934, ss 81, 86)
(1) Subject to subsection (3), the occupier of land within a district must fully and continuously suppress and destroy by any lawful method all noxious animals that are:
(a) on the land, or
(b) on any road that adjoins or intersects the land, or
(c) on any travelling stock reserve that adjoins or intersects the land, or
(d) if the opposite sides of a watercourse or inland water adjoin the land—in the watercourse or inland water, or
(e) if any land, watercourse or inland water adjoins the land and is enclosed by a give and take fence—on the land, or in the watercourse or inland water, that is so enclosed, or
(f) if a watercourse or inland water adjoins the land but the occupier owns or occupies the watercourse or the inland water only up to its middle line—that portion of the watercourse or inland water so owned or occupied.
(2) An occupier of land is not to be regarded as having complied with subsection (1) merely by erecting a fence or by making an existing fence rabbit proof, dog proof or marsupial proof.
(3) An occupier of land which is fenced with a fence sufficient to prevent the passage of a particular noxious animal is under no obligation to suppress and destroy that kind of noxious animal on a travelling stock reserve or road that adjoins or intersects the land so fenced.
(4) An occupier of land who fails to comply with subsection (1) is guilty of an offence.