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Coastal rabbit offensive may start this weekend

18 August 2004

Coastal rabbit offensive may start this weekend

For immediate release: Wednesday 18 August 2004 A major offensive against coastal rabbits will hopefully kick off this weekend after being delayed by poor weather.

Environment Bay of Plenty and the region’s coastal district councils have set up the operation to protect native dune plants put in by Coast Care volunteers over winter. Because it involves using poisoned baits, local authorities want to remind beach users and nearby residents to look out for warning signs so they can keep pets and young children out of harm’s way.

Weather permitting, poison bait will be laid this weekend at various planting locations from Opape, in the eastern Bay of Plenty, to Waihi Beach. The operation will be ongoing until October, with contractors treating each site at least twice between periods of bad weather.

Environment Bay of Plenty pest animal officer David Paine says some residents may have been contacted earlier by the contractor, EcoFX Pest Solutions Ltd. Others will receive notification by mail. Signs will be erected at all treatment sites before the poison baits are laid.

Mr 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 and into treatment areas.”

The bait will be easily recognisable, Mr Paine says. Chopped carrots and cereal pellets will be coated in poison and dyed bright green for easy recognition and to discourage birds. 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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