DPI supports Manangatang Landcare Group effort

THE Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has this week started a rabbit compliance program in the Manangatang and Annuello areas in support of control works undertaken by the Manangatang Landcare Group.

DPI Biosecurity Area Manager Sharyn Williams said increased rabbit populations were a concern in the Manangatang area.

“The Manangatang Landcare Group has coordinated a rabbit control project with funding from the Mallee Catchment Management Authority, and DPI will use its enforcement powers to support that effort,” Ms Williams said.

“Landcare funding has allowed the group to employ an earthmoving contractor to undertake rabbit control along roadsides in the area.

“The groups’ efforts will be further bolstered through the Victorian Government’s Building the Capacity of Local Government Grants Program, with the Swan Hill Rural City Council managing follow-up roadside rabbit control.”

Ms Williams said DPI staff would inspect 70 properties, covering approximately 35,000 hectares, and where required issue directions notices to control rabbits to landowners.

“Landowners have a legal responsibility to manage pest plants and animals on their property to ensure they don’t adversely affect agricultural production on neighbouring farms or impact on the natural environment,” she said.

“Where landowners don’t control pests on their properties, they are liable for fines of up to $29,000 under the law.

“DPI is supporting local efforts to control rabbits in the Mallee catchment and all members of the local community need to do their bit to help control pest animals.

“When this doesn’t occur DPI will step in.

“We have a clear message from the Manangatang community that they want DPI to undertake action on priority species, such as rabbits and bolster the community-led efforts.”

More information about pest management can be found on this website or by calling the Customer Service Centre on 136 186.

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