Hills Shire Council Information for Pet Rabbit Owners February 2104

IMPORTANT PUBLIC NOTICE

Northern Sydney Regional Rabbit Control Program RHD Virus release

Late March or early April 2014

Please be advised that an ongoing feral rabbit control program will be undertaken in public open space in northern Sydney in 2014, including The Hills Shire Council. The aim of the program is to reduce feral rabbit numbers and thereby reduce the negative impacts of feral rabbits. Rabbits are a declared pest species under the Rural Lands Protection Act 1998. Competition and land degradation by feral rabbits is listed as a key threatening process to threatened Australian native animals, plants and Endangered Ecological Communities under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995. Rabbits are also causing public nuisance and significant damage to playing fields, public parks and private property in northern Sydney.

RHDV or Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus is a virus in solution applied to chopped carrots.

WARNING FOR OWNERS OF DOMESTIC RABBITS

RHDV spreads through rabbit to rabbit contact and via biting insects.

RHDV is species specific,

RHDV affects only rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus).

RHDV is not harmful to native animals, or domestic pets other than rabbits.

Pet rabbits can be affected.

To protect your pet vaccinate your rabbit.

Alternatively house pet rabbits in a mosquito proof enclosure away from contact with wild rabbits.

For best protection vaccinate prior to the 1st March

RHDV baits will be laid in late March (weather permitting). The release may be delayed to April.

Baits will be laid in select reserves and public open space in northern Sydney.

For more information contact:

Local Land Services Camden office 4655 9165.

National Parks and Wildlife Service (Metro North East) Senior Ranger – Pests: 9472 8953

Your local council office: Hills Shire Council, Hornsby Shire Council, Hunters Hill Council, Ku-ring-gai Municipal Council, Lane Cove Council, Manly Council, Mosman Council, North Sydney Council, Parramatta Council, Pittwater Council, Ryde City Council, Warringah Council, Willoughby City Council.