Rabbit numbers are estimated to be increasing at 2% per year which is believed to be mainly due to the lessening effect of myxomatosis.
The current population stands at around 40 million. Since being introduced by the Romans rabbits have been remarkably successful in this country
For some people rabbits are cute and fluffy evoking memories of Watership Down, for other people rabbits are destructive and dangerous. Damage caused by rabbits costs in excess of £260 million per year mainly through crop, tree and infrastructure damage.
Rabbits are so destructive that the law requires that every landowner has a duty to control rabbits on their land (Pests Act 1954) if this is not possible they must be stopped from causing damage to adjacent crops by the installation of rabbit proof fencing.
So what can you do to stop rabbits. Well there are several methods but most of them require special skills, equipment and training.
Snaring - Snaring needs to be approached with caution and with reference the the DEFRA codes of Practice. It is important that the correct type of snare is used in the correct way. It is an offence to cause unnecessary suffering to an animal and care needs to be taken to avoid non target species being caught in snares.
Trapping - Cage traps can be baited with foodstuffs such as carrots to control small numbers. It must be noted that these traps must be checked at least every 24 hrs. Make sure that you have a suitable method for dispatching the rabbit. Drowning is not acceptable
Spring traps can be used but only approved spring traps and again in accordance with DEFRA Codes of Practice.
Gassing - Aluminium Phosphide is the only product available for gassing and only suitably qualified persons can possess and use this substance. Misuse can be deadly and not just for the rabbits !
Fencing - There are 3 main types of fencing
Some wildlife habitats and species depend on rabbit grazing, so you should consider wildlife interests when deciding where to put up rabbit fencing.
You should install badger gates if the fence crosses any badger runs.
Shooting - Shooting is a specialist skill which should only be undertaken by suitably trained and licensed persons.
Ferrets - You can send ferrets into the burrow system. The ferrets drive rabbits into nets, which are placed over the burrow entrances or to waiting guns that shoot them as they bolt from tunnel entrances. This can be a time consuming and slow method of control
We are fully trained and qualified in all the techniques outlined above (apart from ferrets). This enables us to provide the correct solution for your rabbit issue. We deal with all sizes of area from small gardens to farmland, golf courses, highway and railway embankments and hotel grounds. We are fully insured for our activities and carry out our work with discretion and the minimum of fuss
Call us on 0121 364 7000 and ask for Ian to discuss your needs.