; Feral Animal Control Program - City of Wanneroo

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Feral Animal Control Program

Keeping your pets safe
Methods of Control

Feral animals are a declared pest under state and federal legislation (Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007 (BAM Act) and associated Regulations 2013) and the City has a duty of care to manage their numbers on City land.

The feral animal control program aims to improve and protect biodiversity within the City. The program focuses on feral rabbits, foxes and cats and is undertaken in line with relevant legislation in a humane and ethical manner.

The City does not use 1080 baiting because  this is an unsuitable method of control in urban and peri-urban areas due to the risks associated with domestic animals.

Rabbits are considered pests in Western Australia and can cause extensive environmental damage by degrading bushland, causing erosion and competing with native animals for shelter, food and habitat. Foxes and feral cats are declared pests that prey on our native animals. Foxes can also cause erosion and degradation issues.

The feral animal control program is carried out in strategically selected City managed conservation areas and occasionally other areas managed by the City.

Keeping your pets safe

Pet owners play an important role in the safety of their pets and the feral animal control program's effectiveness.

  • Dogs should be kept on leads in conservation areas
  • Cats should not be allowed to roam
  • Cats and dogs should be microchipped and registered
  • Pet rabbits should be immunised against Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV) and ensure your rabbit's hutch has adequate insect screening.

Methods of Control

Rabbit control

The City does not use 1080 bait to control rabbits.

Calicivirus or Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV) only affects rabbits and does not affect any other species including native animals, dogs and cats. It exists and persists in the natural environment.  A controlled release of the virus can significantly reduce rabbit numbers. The spread of the virus is dependent on the abundance of insects, particularly flies, weather conditions and time of day. It is generally released in mid to late spring.

Rabbit owners are advised as per RSPCA and Australian Veterinary Association recommendations to ensure that their pet rabbits are immunised against RHDV and hutches are insect resistant. Rabbit deaths can also occur outside control program timeframes given RHDV endures in the natural environment and outbreaks may occur that are unrelated to any planned virus release. 

Pindone may be strategically used in selected reserves or sections of reserves when the risk to non-target species can be minimised. Reserves are surveyed prior to Pindone oats being laid and monitored throughout the duration of the program. Entries to the reserves will be signposted if Pindone is in use. 

Rabbit warren control may be deemed suitable and if safe, warrens may be fumigated. Entry and exit points are carefully assessed for evidence of any native animal usage before entries are collapsed and the warren is fumigated.

Fox Control

The City does not use 1080 bait to control foxes.

City contracted animal pest management specialists use soft foot hold traps to control foxes. These traps are designed to minimise the risk of injury to any animal caught in the trap. Traps are regularly checked and strategically placed within an area to minimise risk to humans and other non-target species, including domestic dogs.

The majority of fox control is undertaken in summer and autumn. Warning signs are installed by the City and contractor at entry points to reserves where trapping is taking place. It is important to keep dogs on leads in reserves and cats at home during these times.