RAB009: Ground shooting of rabbits

The introduced European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) has a significant impact on agricultural production and the environment. Rabbit control methods include poisoning, rabbit fumigation, warren and harbourage destruction, biological control with rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) and myxomatosis, shooting, trapping and exclusion fencing.

Shooting of rabbits is undertaken by government vertebrate pest control officers, landholders and professional or experienced licensed shooters. Although shooting may be useful when rabbit numbers are already low, it is labour intensive and is not effective as a general rabbit control method. Shooting is usually done at night with the aid of a spotlight, but can also be conducted during the day.

Shooting can be a humane method of destroying rabbits when it is carried out by experienced, skilled and responsible shooters; the animal can be clearly seen and is within range; and, the correct firearm, ammunition and shot placement is used.

This standard operating procedure (SOP) is a guide only; it does not replace or override the legislation that applies in the relevant State or Territory jurisdiction. The SOP should only be used subject to the applicable legal requirements (including OH&S) operating in the relevant jurisdiction.

Author Sharp, T.
Year 2016
Pages 4
Notes RAB009
Control method Shooting
Region Australia - national
Documents RAB009: Ground shooting of rabbits [330kb PDF]
Secondary title Standard Operating Procedure