Regional council sets its sights on rabbits

Rabbit hot spots around Otago are in the sights of the Otago Regional Council’s biosecurity department.

Biosecurity and rural liaison manager Andrea Howard said following the successful trial of a "collaborative approach" to rabbit control in Clyde last year, the council was looking to help more landowner-led responses this winter.

"We know there is community interest in a collaborative approach to rabbit control at a number of areas around the region, including the Otago Peninsula, Albert Town, Lake Hayes, Gibbston Valley and more, and will be arranging community meetings in these areas," Ms Howard said.

"The specific approach in each area will depend on community input and preferences, as well as the extent of rabbit issues."

Discussions with interested parties would start next month and continue each month at different locations.

"We are still working on the overall project scope and do not have dates for community meetings but we are aiming for an overall project plan to be finalised in the next month or so," Ms Howard said.

The methods of control in each area would depend on the issues and preferences within each community, she said.

The actual undertaking of rabbit control was not expected to begin until at least April, she said.

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