Given the problems associated with rabbits, the increase in numbers is likely to be accompanied by a corresponding rise in the amount of serious crop damage reported. It is essential, therefore, that effective control strategies are available to ensure that crops vulnerable to rabbit damage are adequately protected. This will serve to benefit landowners and occupiers who have a statutory responsibility to manage rabbit infestations on their land and to prevent them from causing damage to neighbouring properties.
Some damages by Rabbits are to, Cereals, Grassland, other crops, and trees.
Shooting is a popular method of rabbit control and is most effective when conducted at night, using a spotlight.
The Ground Game Act 1880 gives an occupier the right to shoot rabbits on his land during the day and to authorise in writing one other person to do so. The person must be a member of the occupier’s household or staff or be employed for reward. Under the Pests Act 1954, an occupier may apply to Natural England for authority to use a reasonable number of extra guns if the owner of the shooting rights will neither permit the occupier to bring on extra guns, nor undertake to destroy the rabbits himself, and it is necessary to use more guns than the occupier has the right to authorise.
Under the Ground Game Act 1880 as amended by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, the following are allowed to shoot at night:
• An owner-occupier with shooting rights.
• A landlord who has reserved his shooting rights.
• A shooting tenant not in occupation who has derived his shooting rights from the owner.
• An occupier or one other person authorised by him provided he has written authority from another person with shooting rights.
The Firearms Act 1968 requires any person possessing, purchasing, or acquiring a shotgun to obtain a firearms certificate from the police.
*We only offer the above method (Shooting), not the methods below.
Other control methods used are:
Gassing, Fencing (Wire-netting or Electric fences), Baited cage trapping, Drop box trapping, Spring Trapping, Snaring, Ferreting
Also, some damage reduction methods could be considered such as Tree-Guards or Repellents
Rabbits: how to control numbers