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Rabbits targeted to protect dune plants


MEDIA RELEASE


Rabbits targeted to protect dune plants

For immediate release: Tuesday 22 June 2004

Hungry rabbits will be targeted over the next few months in a major offensive to protect newly planted native dune plants along the Bay of Plenty coastline.

Beach users and nearby residents are reminded to watch for warning signs so they can keep pets and young children out of harm’s way.

Environment Bay of Plenty has contracted pest control agency, EcoFX, to carry out the operation, which starts in July and will run until October. Using Pindone bait, it will focus on rabbit-infested land near dunes being planted over winter by volunteers from the Coast Care programme.

East coast beaches between Opape and Coastlands will be hit first, with bait being laid around feeding areas and rabbit warrens in early July. Various stretches between Thornton and Otamarakau and from Papamoa to north of Tauranga Harbour will follow later in the month.

Nearby residents will be contacted before work begins and EcoFx will also place public notices in local newspapers.

Environment Bay of Plenty pest animal officer David Paine says it is important people heed the warning notices. “They will need to supervise their children and keep pets out of the area. If they’re walking dogs on the beach, they should keep them on a lead so they don’t run up into the dunes.”

If you suspect your pet has eaten either Pindone bait or poisoned rabbits seek veterinary care immediately. Poison symptoms may include pale gums, difficulty in moving, and bleeding in severe cases.


ENDS

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