Land owners fined for not controlling rabbits
9 August 2016
Two land owners in the Rowsley Valley near Bacchus Marsh have been prosecuted for failing to control rabbits on their properties.
Agriculture Victoria Biosecurity Manager Mark Farrer said the two cases demonstrated the importance of controlling pest animals and highlighted the responsibilities that came with land ownership.
Mr Farrer said the two land owners were charged under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 for failing to comply with a Land Management Notice requiring rabbits to be controlled on their properties.
Land owners have a legal responsibility to manage invasive plants and animals on their property to ensure they don't adversely affect agricultural production on neighbouring farms or impact on the natural environment.
"Apart from causing soil erosion and degrading water quality in rivers and streams, even at low numbers rabbits can prevent the regeneration of vulnerable native plant species," Mr Farrer said.
The two cases were heard in the Bacchus Marsh Magistrates Court in July with the first land owner fined $3000 and the second land owner issued an adjourned undertaking for six months to be of good behavior and ordered to pay $1000 to the Country Fire Authority as a donation. Both sentences were without conviction.
Mr Farrer said the two properties were part of a local community-led rabbit control program covering 36 properties over 2,500 hectares.
Mr Farrer said Agriculture Victoria supported the project through the provision of compliance and enforcement services where land owners failed to fulfil their legal responsibilities to control rabbits and this involvement led to the prosecutions.
Prosecutor Tanyth Young said both land owners had been provided with opportunities to complete the rabbit control work and that in one of the cases Agriculture Victoria had been required to hire contractors to complete the control works.Visit the Agriculture website for more information about controlling rabbits on your property.
Categorised under: Agriculture,Prosecution