To stop the use of pindone on the Campbelltown WSU campus rabbit population.
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Western Sydney University recently announced that they would be initiating a pindone poisoning program to reduce the rabbit population on the Campbelltown campus.
Pindone is an anticoagulant that slowly kills animals by causing fatal haemorrhages. Rabbits will be in severe pain and will likely bleed from their ears, nose, mouth, and anus for up to 14 days before their death.
The RSPCA has also spoken out against the use of pindone. I’d like to quote researchers from the University of Wollongong whose article has been linked above. “The RSPCA has a page titled, "What is the most humane way to control rabbits". In regard to pindone the RSPCA is unequivocal in its criticism and says that it does not consider pindone ‘an acceptable control method as affected rabbits take several days to die.”
There are multiple studies and articles that have found the use of Pindone to be a cruel, inhumane, and abhorrent way of controlling the feral rabbit population. I will place them below. Poisoning is not an effective long-term solution for controlling feral rabbit populations as more food and space then become available for other rabbits to migrate and their populations thus increase. There are immuno-contraceptives available that much more successful and humane.
Unfortunately saying that “the rabbit control program will be highly target-specific and will pose little to no risk to native wildlife and pets”, is simply untrue as Pindone is not a rabbit specific and will kill any animal including humans. Pindone is also able to poison species such as owls that prey on rabbits as the poison accumulates in the rabbit to a high enough doses to make their flesh itself poisonous. Even if you were to remove the dead bodies from around campus this would not prevent this as Pindone causes rabbits to become lethargic and thus easy prey. Please see the link below from an Australian veterinary clinic regarding this fact.
I ask you to consider the severity of the impact this plan will have on the Campbelltown wildlife population vs the outcomes. As far as I can see pindone gives you many undesirable outcomes (especially as the majority of the rabbit population lives near/on a storm water catchment) and is also not a long term solution. Killing off rabbits can actually cause their populations to increase since more food and space will then be available. Non-lethal methods, such as exclusion fencing, can keep them at bay until such time as a suitable Immuno-contraceptive can be developed. I believe that part of the motivation of this project is to allow the oval to be rehabilitated and based on the above evidence I hope that you consider placing a rabbit proof fence around the oval rather than using this unnecessarily cruel and irresponsible method.
This is a great opportunity for our university to take responsibility and leadership, and show that it is never acceptable to resort to cruelty and violence as a solution to problems humans have created. What kind of message is this sending to young adults in the community who come for education?
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