Rabbits burrow under a building in Queensland.
Rabbits burrow under a building in Queensland. Erica Murree

Traps for rabbits must have rubber jaws, RSPCA says

THE RSPCA approves the use of soft jawed traps for rabbits rather than the more inhumane steel traps.

The comments from RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty followed reports at the weekend that two dogs were injured after being caught in rabbit traps near the Condamine River at Killarney.

RSPCA Queensland spokesman Michael Beatty said the issue of rabbit traps and dogs cropped up every now and again.

"We don't approve of steel traps but do approve soft jawed traps for rabbits," he said.

"The jaws must be made of rubber which have the potential to hurt a dog but won't totally mangle a leg. The traps also need to be checked regularly, especially in hot weather."

Australian Veterinary Association director Chris Reardon from Warwick Veterinary Clinic said he couldn't recall treating a dog that had been caught in a rabbit trap.

He said the association had a wild rabbit policy which stated reducing the adverse impacts of wild rabbits was a legitimate and necessary objective for those responsible for managing agricultural land, pastoral land, national parks and other land.

"Methods employed for the control of rabbits must be as humane as possible. The total eradication of rabbits on the Australian continent is not a realistic goal," the policy states.

"The use of steel-jawed traps is inhumane and is not an efficient means of controlling rabbits."

The AVA policy accepts the use of 1080, myxomatosis and imported calicivirus as effective towards the control of rabbits.

In a post on Facebook at the weekend, Lucky Charm Farm stated there were rabbit traps set along the creek at Killarney and the situation was "so dangerous".

Total Dog Grooming took to Facebook to alert people to the terrible danger of rabbit traps.

"Two of our beloved doggie customers fighting for life after walking by the river," the post stated.

Fran Griffin from Total Dog Grooming in Warwick said people who responded to her social media post were all shocked and couldn't believe traps were still being used in this day and age.

"This is the first incident I have heard of but it is pretty awful for a dog to be hurt like that, shocking for the owner of the dogs and people who know the dogs," she said.

"We hope for the best for the dogs."

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