RAB006: Rabbit Warren destruction by ripping

Warren destruction by ripping is used to minimise the impact of the introduced European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) on agricultural production and the environment. Other rabbit control methods include poisoning, warren destruction using explosives, warren fumigation, surface harbour removal, shooting, trapping, exclusion fencing and biological control with rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) and myxomatosis.

In many areas of Australia, rabbits depend on warrens for shelter from climatic extremes, predator avoidance and also for successful breeding. Warrens are destroyed using ripping or, in rocky or inaccessible areas, explosives. Since rabbits do not readily dig new warrens, rabbit populations do not persist in areas where warrens are effectively destroyed and re-colonisation is made less likely.

Warrens are destroyed using a tractor or bulldozer fitted with single or multiple-tinned rippers. The technique used will vary depending on local conditions such as soil type, position of warrens and type of equipment available. Ripping will be more humane when the number of rabbits in the warren is low and powerful machinery is used to acheive complete disintegration of the warren, so that rabbits are killed quickly. Because ripping gives long term management of rabbit populations the need for repeated control operations is reduced.

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 2012
Pages 4
Notes RAB006
Control method Warren Ripping
Region Australia - national
Documents RAB006:Rabbit warren destruction by ripping  [270 kb PDF]
Secondary title Standard Operating Procedure