Feral rabbit populations are increasing on the North Shore and cause major environmental damage, including the destruction of native vegetation, sportsfields, reserves and gardens. According to Industry and Investment NSW, feral rabbits cost Australia over $200 million in damage each year.
Report a rabbit sighting
Rabbit control program
Australia has been engaged in feral rabbit control programs since the 1920s. The control of feral animal populations in urban areas is most effective when carried out in a coordinated manner.
Ku-ring-gai Council released The Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease(RHD) Virus in April 2015 in conjunction with other Councils, National Parks and other Land Managers across the Sydney North Region. However, the rabbit population is still persistent in high numbers following this release indicating that the population has a resistance to the current strain of Calici virus.
It is hopeful that in September 2017 the Australian Pest and Veterinary Medicines Authority will release a RHD Virus (RHDV K5) with a more significant impact. The release of the virus is being coordinated by the Invasive Animal CRC and when approved will be undertaken across the entire Sydney North Region. The virus will affect the rabbit population in all properties and land tenure in the Ku-ring-gai Council area.
Council is also investigating shooting and carries out Pindone baiting where it is safe and lawful to do so.
For more information on wild rabbits and their control visit:
- NSW Department of Primary Industries
Rabbits on your property
In terms of keeping rabbits out of your property, the best option is to undertake fencing and attach rabbit netting to an existing fence around the area requiring protection. Most fencing contractors should be able to undertake these works at a relatively low cost. In addition to fencing, Council recommends that a private pest control company, specialising in vertebrate pest control, is contacted to assist in eradicating rabbits on your land.
Other options include:
- Spraying your plants with a liquid deterrent made from boiled garlic and chilli and reapply after rain
- Contact a qualified vertebrate pest controller
Please contact your local vet for further advice.
Rabbit Management Plan 2013 - 2017 (pdf. 88KB)
Feral Rabbit brochure (pdf. 2MB)
Frequently Asked Questions
Dominic Edmonds, Bushland Maintenance Supervisor
P: 9424 0401