Rural Rabbits have a knack of invading rural properties.

Published on April 20th, 2016

How to defeat rabbits on your rural property

If you're an owner of rural real estate in Australia, then you will probably be aware of the serious amount of damage that rabbits can deal to your property. Originally brought here with the First Fleet and spread by one Thomas Austin who released a dozen or so on his property, nowadays feral European rabbits are some of the most prevalent pests across the country.

While you have to admire them somewhat for their success in a land they were not adapted to, the fact remains that everyone from small farm owners to full-blown commercial enterprises suffer at the paws of this menace. Just what can the average rural Australian do to defeat these grey beasts?

Easter has come and gone, but the rabbits remain.Easter has come and gone, but the rabbits remain.

Stay preventative

Rather than dealing with the rabbits after they have already invaded, it is generally a much better idea to prevent the issue from occurring in the first place. Primary among preventative methods has to be updating or redesigning your fencing system to include a rabbit-proof element.

This is the method recommended by RSPCA Australia, particularly for small farms. This differs from the average farmyard fence, as it requires a dug-in section as well as the above-ground structure. A mesh or solid brick base can serve well, keeping the rabbits from digging underneath the fence and thwarting your attempts at keeping them out aboveground.

On top of being preventative rather than reactionary, this method is also probably the most humane one available: the rabbits have no chance to actually get into your property and cause their usual damage, so you don't have to utilise more fatal methods such as poisons and shooting.

Work with your community

It is generally a much better idea to prevent the issue from occurring in the first place.{not a standalone statement. Revise or replace}

However, there is something to be said for rabbits being a community-wide issue rather than ones only for individual farms. The Department of Agriculture in Victoria knows this, and has thrown its support behind ensuring that entire rural communities deal with these pests, rather than individuals having to slog it out on their own.

While the current projects are only a pilot scheme in Victoria under the Victorian Rabbit Action Network, this concept could provide a blueprint for others wanting to take action against rabbit infestation in their areas. The members of the Bellarine Rabbit Action group, for example, share their rabbit expertise, prevention and culling methods and generally makes sure that the community is aware and ready to combat this very serious threat to local producers.

Rabbits certainly have the upper hand when it comes to numbers, but rural farmers have the advantage of being able to work together. If you're looking for rural property, you can work with a local real estate agent to get the upper hand in your search for a rabbit-free property!


Back to Top ↑