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
Our next rabbit baiting program is currently planned for Spring 2018.
This baiting program will use Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (RHD) which is a biological control that only targets rabbits. All other animals and humans will not be affected.
Further details will be available closer to the time.
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.
In April 2015, Ku-ring-gai Council released the rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD), also known as Calicivirus in conjunction with National Parks and other Land Managers across the Sydney North Region. Results from this release were less effective due to the high resistance to the current strain of the virus.
In October 2017, Council in conjunction with the Australian Pest and Veterinary Medicines Authority released a new strain of the Calici virus called RHD Virus (RHDV K5) across 22 sites. Release was limited due to the low supplies of the virus, however results from ongoing monitoring is showing that it has been successful. The virus is spread from rabbit to rabbit and through scats. Council is preparing for the next release in Spring 2018 which we intend to increase the baiting intensity and sites.
Council is also investigating shooting and the use of Pindone as a means of control where it is safe and lawful to do so.
For more information on wild rabbits and their control visit:
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