How and why is RHD used?
Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (RHD) is used on carrot baits in bushland reserves and national parks from Parramatta to Pittwater. Poisons such as Pindone are usually restricted in these areas but RHD can be used as it does not affect other animals or humans.
RHD is a biological control agent and is the best method for residential areas, with a reach of up to 5km from the baiting site.
When is RHD used?
During early summer we conduct blood tests on a number of feral rabbits across the region. The tests show whether the rabbits are resistant to RHD. If there is no resistance, baiting will usually be planned for late February if weather conditions are favourable. An increased number of flies and mosquitoes help spread the virus.
Where is RHD used?
Our rabbit control program concentrates on open, controllable areas of Council land such as golf courses, where rabbits cause serious damage to playing fields and create hazards for players.
Does Council use any other rabbit control methods?
At times we’ve used a range of methods in coordination, including:
- biological controls such as myxomatosis and RHD
- removing rabbit habitat
- Pindone baiting
Has the rabbit population increased due to fox baiting?
Foxes do not usually prey on rabbits or have an impact on population numbers in urban Sydney. Rabbit numbers in Ku-ring-gai are increasing due to good rainfall and the availability of high protein grass. Rabbit numbers are also increasing in areas where there is no fox control.
Read more on our fox control program
What can I do about rabbits on my property?
Under the Rural Lands Protection Act 1998, it is the property owner’s responsibility to undertake rabbit control on their land. Some simple methods include:
- fencing the property
- placing blood and bone around the property boundary
- spraying plants with a liquid deterrent made from boiled garlic and chilli – reapply after rain
If your rabbit problem is more serious, contact a pest company for more assistance. You must abide by the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979.