Feral Animal Control & Keeping Your Pets Safe

The City of Wanneroo have recently announced they will be launching programs in January 2021 to control feral animals within the City. The feral animal control program aims to improve and protect biodiversity within the City. The program focuses on feral rabbits, foxes and cats and is undertaken in line with relevant legislation in a humane and ethical manner.

The City of Canning had also planned to launch a program in Spring 2020 to control wild rabbit populations but had postponed due to a national shortage of rabbit vaccines which provide protection for domestic rabbits against pest control measures (RHDV).

Foxes and feral cats prey on local wildlife such as birds, small mammals, lizards and frogs while rabbits degrade bushland areas by preventing the regeneration and establishment of native vegetation through grazing.

Efforts to control feral animals can have effects on our pets, so pet owners need to be careful where feral animal control programs are in place. We highly recommend you familiarise with programs planned in your local area and follow recommendations to keep your pets safe. 

Rabbit Pest Control and Precautions for Rabbit Owners

Rabbits are considered pests in Western Australia and can cause extensive environmental damage by degrading bushland, causing erosion and competing with native animals for shelter, food and habitat.

Calicivirus or Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV) only affects rabbits and does not affect any other species including native animals, dogs and cats. It exists and persists in the natural environment. 

Rabbit owners are advised as per RSPCA and Australian Veterinary Association recommendations to ensure that their pet rabbits are immunised against RHDV and hutches are insect resistant. Rabbit deaths can also occur outside control program timeframes given RHDV endures in the natural environment and outbreaks may occur that are unrelated to any planned virus release.

Protection against RHDV
Based on scientific evidence to date, the existing RHDV1 vaccine (known as Cylap®) is effective against RHDV1 K5. It is recommended that all domestic rabbit owners vaccinate their rabbits prior to the release of RHDV and/or ensure their animals’ vaccinations are up-to-date.
 


Keeping your pet rabbits safe

  • Pet rabbits should be immunised against Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV). Contact us for more information or book online here.
  • Prevent direct and indirect contact between domestic and wild rabbits. Rabbit-proof your backyard to prevent wild rabbits entering (and yours escaping)
  • Avoid cutting grass and feeding it to rabbits if there is the risk of contamination from wild rabbits
  • Wash hands, with warm soapy water between handling rabbits
  • Good insect control (especially mosquitos and flies) is important and will help reduce the risks of introduction of RHDV. Insect control could include insect proofing the hutch or keeping the rabbits indoors
  • Control fleas
  • Infected rabbits should be isolated and disposed of in a manner that will minimise environmental contamination
  • Regularly decontaminate equipment and materials including cages, hutches, bowls etc, with either 10% bleach or 10% sodium hydroxide (safely and appropriately)
  • Remove uneaten food on a daily basis.

Find out more on the Australian Veterinary Association page here >

Keeping your pets safe

Pet owners play an important role in the safety of their pets and the feral animal control program's effectiveness.

  • Dogs should be kept on leads in conservation areas
  • Cats should not be allowed to roam
  • Cats and dogs should be microchipped and registered
  • Pet rabbits should be immunised against Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV) and ensure your rabbit's hutch has adequate insect screening.

Foxes and Feral Cats

Foxes and feral cats are declared pests that prey on our native animals. Foxes can also cause erosion and degradation issues.

The City of Wanneroo does not use 1080 bait to control foxes. City contracted animal pest management specialists use soft foothold traps to control foxes. These traps are designed to minimise the risk of injury to any animal caught in the trap. Traps are regularly checked and strategically placed within an area to minimise risk to humans and other non-target species, including domestic dogs.

Warning signs are installed by the City and contractor at entry points to reserves where trapping is taking place. It is important to keep dogs on leads in reserves and cats at home during these times.

Upcoming programs

Please check with your local council for planned feral animal control programs in your area.

City of Wanneroo - Please refer to the City of Wanneroo's website for full details and release dates here and below

Rabbit Control - City of Wanneroo

Start date 18 January 2021 (duration 3 weeks)

  • Marangaroo Golf Course, Marangaroo
  • Marangaroo Reserve, Marangaroo

Start date 1 February 2021 (duration 3 weeks)

  • Kinsale Park, Mindarie
  • North Mindarie Foreshore, Mindarie
  • South Mindarie Foreshore, Mindarie
  • Mather Reserve, Neerabup
  • Quinns Beach, Quinns Rocks
  • Lake Badgerup, Wanneroo

Fox Control - City of Wanneroo

Start date 18 January 2021 (duration 1 weeks)

  • Middleton Reserve, Alexander Heights
  • Landsdale Park, Darch
  • Hepburn Park, Landsdale
  • Marangaroo Golf Course, Marangaroo
  • Marangaroo Reserve, Marangaroo

Start date 1 February 2021 (duration 2 weeks)

  • Golfview Park, Gnangara
  • Damian Park, Jandabup
  • Franklin Park, Jandabup
  • Kinsale Park, Mindarie
  • North Mindarie Foreshore, Mindarie
  • Gumblossom Park, Quinns Rocks
  • Mindarie Park, Quinns Rocks
  • Quinns Bushland, Quinns Rocks
  • Belgrade Park, Wanneroo
  • Chicquita Park, Wanneroo
  • Benmuni Park, Wanneroo

Start date 15 February 2021 (duration 2 weeks)

  • Koondoola Bushland, Koondoola
  • Waddington Park, Koondoola
  • Mather Reserve, Neerabup

Start date 22 February 2021 (duration 2 weeks)

  • Mary Park, Wanneroo
  • Lake Badgerup Reserve, Wanneroo

Start date 22 February 2021 (duration 1 weeks)

  • Middleton Reserve, Alexander Heights
  • Landsdale Park, Darch
  • Hepburn Park, Landsdale
  • Marangaroo Golf Course, Marangaroo
  • Marangaroo Reserve, Marangaroo

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