Fremantle’s Councils Rabbit Shame



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.

Fremantle’s New Bunny Problem

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.




Fremantle Herald


“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.

(Visited 135 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply


  1. Diana Ryan says:

    WHAT? Jesus H. Christ – are you listening to what I’m about to say, Brad Pettitt – a senior reporter in WA recently said to me “did you know CoF is paying an extra 20% premium on weed poisoning [to be commensurate with their values, blah, blah]”. Dumbfounded at your priorities, mate.

    For the cost of one of your EXCESSIVE and unnecessary, spoilt ageing brat airfares do you think you could come up with something other than “Ebola for Bunnies”?

    Sustainability my ass… don’t even want balance – not enough votes in it. You’d think Rachel P at least would care. Its not like anyone of them are fighting furiously for people with disabilities for instance – too selfish and self absorbed. Might as well champion bunnies then….

    • Mark says:

      Well the weed thing is not true.
      Fremantle does use chemicals, for killing weeds, down on south beach in the last 2 weeks it was used.
      On the cnr of White gum valley primary school last week they were spraying chemicals on the curbs and foot paths.
      I called the council to query this and was informed that low traffic areas where sprayed with chemicals. I asked if this included primary schools, I was told they would look into it.
      This council is good at pushing their PR, they will talk about it how much they spend for steam weed killing in the name of the environment, hoping no one will notice the chemicals they use, slide of hand.
      They are just a thin veneer of BS, spin, smoke and mirrors.
      Get your reporter friend to a story on council sponsored cruelty, using a chemical that goes against RSPCA recommendations.
      Great image for all the greens on council, have I ever used the word hypocrite to describe them before.

      • Diana Ryan says:

        CoF is secure in the knowledge that the “local govt” reporters at the West, or often times their sub editors, and others, are just basically disinterested in reporting the 29 other councils in Perth’s activities. Perth maybe, Vincent sometimes but that’s about it.

        Its poor reporting, basically. Freo is not a particularly good example of anything.

  2. Chris says:


    I know your a massive cheer leader for Hanssen and I know this is not the intended forum but please convince him not to run.



    • Mark says:

      Run for what?
      Anyone with issues or fetishes for Matthew should deal with him directly.
      This blog has nothing to do with matthew.
      If you wish to communicate with him, he has a blog, email him and tell him what ever you want.

    • Chris who? and what are your reasons for not wanting me to run? At least I have the guts to state my reasons in an open and public forum.

      Why would you honestly try and convince someone NOT to run for office as a councilor position in Fremantle? A better democratic process is created when more people run and there is greater competition.

  3. freoishome says:

    Getting back on track – Pest control of rabbits!

    I followed up on the RSPCA link from mark. As Mark says RSPCA don’t like Pindone, saying it is inhumane, but, if you read RSPCA further, they say the same thing about all the pest control methods and even 1080!

    I found the NSW information to be a more thorough discussion of the whole subject of Pest Control of Rabbit, it is much more informative. It references RSPCA in several places, and humane control is a strong theme throughout.

    Of the two poisons, 1080 is clearly more humane than Pindone, but it has other risks to Humans and domestic animals. So its assessment of Pindone says:

    “The use of pindone can only be justified in situations where 1080 cannot be used i.e. in close proximity to urban areas where the risk of accidental poisoning to humans and companion animals is greatest.”.

    As unpalatable as it is, it seems metro councils may only have that option?

    It seems the only humane method, is stopping the rabbits arriving in the first place. Another interesting fact I learnt was apparently many rabbits don’t live in warrens, if surface living is survivable.


    The NSW link is:

    • Mark says:

      I think u missed the point about a bad look for an area like Fremantle as a tourism area. Do we really want rabbits bleeding out over a week and dieing out in public and becoming a food source that will impact on our species.
      Maybe you missed in my post that states that
      “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.”

      You seem to have missed the second half of the RSPCA statement “RSPCA does NOT consider this an acceptable control method”

      • freoishome says:

        I didn’t miss any of that Mark. But when I followed RSPCA’s opinion on the other options that RSPSA references in the opinion on Pindane, they don’t consider them acceptable either.

        That is why I searched wider, to see if there are any other options and passed on the link for you read. Did you read it?

        • Mark says:

          Yes Paul I had read the NSW Ag departments before i wrote the article, the WA ag department have a similar theme. I general read quite a few sources before I write a post.
          Both Ag departments say to use Pindone, the RSPCA says its not acceptable as its inhumane. Surprisingly the RSPCA condones shooting rabbits as the best method or cage trapping.
          The NSW Ag department states pindone is only acceptable when there is no other alternative, its Inhumane compared to 1080.
          Personal I don’t have any love for rabbits but I don’t think letting them bleed to dead for over a week is a good method to use.
          Again its not a good look for a popular tourist destination.
          For a green council with all their save the world stuff, poisoning rabbits so they slowly bleed to death is a pretty bad look.

%d bloggers like this: