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Pest animals

Australia has the highest record for biodiversity loss anywhere in the world. Since the arrival of Europeans, more than 110 plant and animal species have become extinct. Much of this loss has been caused by pest animals. There are 56 species of pest animals in Australia, with rabbits, cats, dogs, foxes, pigs, mynah birds and cane toads considered the worst in environmental and economic terms. The challenge is to find ways to reduce the numbers of these pest animals to help restore native biodiversity and reduce losses in the agricultural industries.

Controlling rabbits

Rabbits have devastated the Australian environment. They have changed ecosystems by eating native plants, out-competing native animals and causing erosion by digging warrens. Domestic rabbits are also a threat if they escape. Owners of domestic rabbits have legal obligations under the Landscape South Australia Act 2019.


Are you having problems with feral rabbits? Summer is the ideal time to control rabbits on your property, using Pindone-treated carrots. This new step-by-step video guides you through how to bait using this method. If followed correctly, you’ll be rewarded with a significant reduction in rabbit numbers.

Using Pindone to control wild rabbits

A release of K5 Calicivirus in late summer/autumn is a great way to start a control program, see the step-by-step instructions in the video below.

K5 rabbit calicivirus control program

Download these fact sheets:

All the bait active ingredients sold by the Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board are regulated by the APVMA. To limit the potential for off-target impacts we have a list of mitigating strategies for landholders such as pre-feeding, using dyed Pindone carrot baits, laying of baits in the evening, picking them up the next morning and disposing them via deep burial. Dead rabbits should also be deeply buried to avoid animals feeding on the carcasses.

If you suspect that your pet has eaten Pindone treated carrots then take it to the vet immediately. There is a small window available for the administration of an antidote.

Your vet can also help with advice about calicivirus vaccination and ways to prevent the risk of exposure for pet rabbits.

Controlling foxes

Foxes are recognised as major predators and are a threat to Australia’s native animals. They also affect sheep farmers during lambing season and can cause concerns for the community around pets and unsecured poultry.

Information on the control of foxes is available:

Updated Material Safety Data Sheets for 1080 products are available on PIRSA's website.

Controlling deer

Within the Hills and Fleurieu region, escaped fallow deer have become feral and are increasingly being reported. These animals have an impact on primary production, pose a biosecurity risk, cause environmental destruction and are a social pest. The Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board aims to reduce the escape of domestic deer by inspecting deer farms every two years. If you see tagged deer on your property please either notify the board or your local deer farm. Tagged deer are classified as feral if they are not retrieved within 7 days of the farmer being notified. Feral deer are the responsibility of the landholder to manage if you need advice please contact us at our Mount Barker office.

What is being done to manage pests?

The Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board has a clearly defined approach to managing pests. The pest management hierarchy recommends management actions for target pest plants and animals. This helps improve detection and response to new and existing pests based on their invasiveness, impact, potential distribution and feasibility of containing it.

Read more about our Regional Grazing Pressure Management project here.

You can request a free property visit for advice on pest management. Please contact one of our offices - Mt Barker 83917500 or Willunga 8550 3400.

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