A very numerous species, decimated following the introduction of Myxomatosis is the 1950’s, resistance to the disease is now common and numbers are approaching pre-‘mixy’ levels. They can decimate crops and due to the milder winters, now seem to breed all year round. Rabbits also pose a health and safety risk by digging burrows and scrapes, these can represent a trip hazard for people, livestock and horses.
Methods of control:
Depending on the size of the problem and the nature of the site, I usually tackle rabbit problems with a combination of the following methods
Fencing – to exclude rabbits from vulnerable areas, e.g. crops, gardens and lawns.
Cage trapping – Cage traps are baited to lure the rabbits into a cage with a sprung door mechanism where they are held unharmed until they are dispatched humanely.
Spring trapping – Spring traps are hidden in the entrance to the rabbit burrows, when the rabbit activates the trap it is killed instantly.
Shooting – Usually undertaken at night, using rimfire or centrefire rifles, shotguns or air rifles depending on terrain and the type of site, utilising a powerful lamp.