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Created on 28/10/2010 @ 10:24


The much-maligned rabbits that have wreaked havoc on the Maesydre sports pitches this summer have escaped the death penalty.
Last night, Welshpool Town Council voted against a proposal to gas the rabbits and have instead opted to investigate alternative non-lethal methods to control their movements.
“We will continue to try and control the rabbit infestation as required by us under the pest act 1954,” said Town Clerk Robert Robinson. “But the councilors decided against gassing and opted to employ a company to come up with a rabbit management plan and to trial rabbit repellants to see if it works.”
The Town Council will also ask Powys County Council to solve their rabbit problem on the land next door which is spilling onto the Maesydre grounds.
Mywelshpool readers voted 75 per cent in favour of the rabbits in a home page poll and the results were handed to Mr. Robinson prior to the debate last night.
One concerned local animal rights campaigner contacted renowned expert John Bryant to ask for his advice on controlling the problem and he questioned the effectiveness of gassing as a permanent solution.
Mr. Bryant said in an email: “It will not be possible to exterminate all the rabbits (rabbits being rabbits!) and therefore the cost of repeated killing programmes will eventually exceed the initial costs of fencing.”
Mr. Bryant also recommended safe chemical repellents to be sprayed as a two-metre barrier between the rabbits and the sports fields as an alternative to potentially expensive fencing.
The rabbit problem became apparent this year when Waterloo Rovers players suffered serious injuries caused by holes and divots left by the rabbits on the pitches. However, earlier this week, officials were sickened to find local thugs had caught a rabbit and strung it up using the club’s goal nets.
How rabbits can get out of control!
-          Britain is home to up to 37 million rabbits
-          Females can start breeding at three months
-          A rabbit can produce up to five litters annually
-          A litter averages five bunnies
-          Important part of food chain to birds of prey, foxes, wild cats
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