Today I had a friend send me a picture of this dead rabbit, they found it laying out in front of the esplanade by Henry St about lunch time. It seems councillors are still approving pindone a slow step anticoagulant poison, leaving its digester a slow painful death?
How does council approve the use of this slow cruel death for animals?
They talk about tree canopy but approve plans to cut down old established trees
They talk about having less hard hard coverage of our city, i.e. less concrete, yet they laid concrete in the esplanade and have planned plenty more for the reserve, + on south beach park, princess park etc.
They talk about protecting our city’s heritage yet approve inappropriate developments.
They talk about not running events based on alcohol but approve them anyway.
Talk about supporting small bars yet approve 1000+ booze barns.
It just goes on and on so not surprising we see the rabbit situation.
I did a blog post on the council rabbit extermination policy a while back, triggered by an article in the West Australian.
So I did a bit of reading on the subject, the herald did a piece in 2013 on the same issue with a similar picture.
“RABBITS poisoned by Fremantle city council are returning to tunnels under the Carriage Café to die, their decaying corpses leaving behind a stench for patrons.
The council says it’s the café’s responsibility to remove the rotting corpses from under its expansive deck.
Kel Smith owns the iconic café and isn’t happy. He says he’s been asking the council for two months to trap the animals and never expected them to use poison in the inner city. “Baits, I believe should not be an option for health and safety reasons,” he says.
Council CEO Graeme Mackenzie says baiting using radiated oats “infused with Pindone” is approved by WA agriculture.
“Baits [were] placed along the railway reserve fence outside of readily accessible public areas,” he says. “To date, four rabbits have been collected as a result of the baiting, but the majority of rabbit warrens have been found to be underneath the Carriage Café and therefore are the responsibility of the tenant to manage.”
Mr Mackenzie says trapping has “proved costly and ineffective”.
The Herald wandered down to the cafe Friday and wrinkled its nose at the unmistakeable funk coming up from underneath the café deck.
Just to the left of the park, near Marine Terrace, a crow was feasting on the remains of a poisoned rabbit.
South Fremantle local Anne Roberts was lunching at the café last Thursday with friends when the group caught a whiff of “something dying”: “It came drifting across the park and I’m not sure where it was coming from but it was definitely something dying.”
Mr Smith describes the council’s response to his calls for it to deal with the corpses as “unsatisfactory”. One councillor made light of the issue, with Cr Rob Fittock replying in an email to Mr Smith: “Roger the Rabbit has whispered that the bunnies have taken the easy way out by not digging burrows and are living under the carriage, eating the baits while cavorting around the park at night and returning home to die. A shame to kill them but what do you do with them when you trap them?”
So I was surprised that even though this has been reported the council has continued inflicting such a cruel slow death for the rabbits.
Not to mention the unsightly sight of dead rabbits laying about such public spaces. The smell of rotting bodies, the rats it would attract.
Now with some reading on pindone the Agriculture Department of WA makes this comment ” Less selective in action. Known to cause the deaths of kangaroos and bandicoots, and is toxic to a number of birds (e.g. parrots, eagles) and domestic animals (e.g. sheep, horses, cattle).”
The RSPCA says “Baiting with pindone is often recommended for rabbit control in semi-rural areas where 1080 cannot be used, but the RSPCA does not consider this as an acceptable control method as poisoned rabbits can suffer for several days prior to death.”
Pindone is an anticoagulant that kills by interfering with blood clotting, causing fatal haemorrhages. According to Trudy Sharp and Glen Saunders, scientists from the NSW Department of Primary Industries, who prepared a Model Code of Practice for the humane control of rabbits for the federal government, it takes around 10 to 14 days for rabbits to die following initial ingestion of pindone. During that time the animals bleed from the nose, mouth, eyes and anus, and pain from bleeding in internal organs, muscles and joints lasts for several days before they die. They conclude: “Because anticoagulant poisons take several days to kill, during which time they cause distress, disability and/or pain, they are considered inhumane.”
So while I see the rabbit situation must be dealt with, I don’t think having dead and dying animals laying around public areas or using this slow method is the way to go.