Where rabbits are a problem it is sometimes necessary to use poison to reduce the population quickly.
Compound 1080 is one of the most common poisons used for this purpose. However in some areas it is not suitable to use Compound 1080 as a rabbit control method because of the danger to other animals, particularly domestic dogs and cats.
In these areas a poison called pindone can be used.
Method of Use
Pindone is an anticoagulant poison, similar in action to some rat poisons. It acts by reducing the blood clotting abilities of the body. To achieve this, a number of feeds over several days are needed.
The poison normally takes effect about six days after the first bait is taken, but may take up to 14 days.
Landholders who wish to lay their own bait must be instructed in the use of pindone, and must hold an Agricultural Spray Permit. An Authorised Officer may issue a permit to use pindone, for a prescribed fee. The permit may be issued for a period of up to five years.
Landholders must notify their neighbours and post signs when pindone baits are laid.
Pindone is a liquid, which is issued for field use as a 2.5 per cent concentration of active ingredient (a.i.) and mixed with bait by an Biosecurity Inspector or authorised person to give a final concentration of 0.025 per cent (a.i.). The most common baits used are carrots and oats. Oats are not as effective in some circumstances, particularly when there is abundant green feed available.
Commercially produced pindone products contain a green dye to reduce its attractiveness to birds.
To ensure an effective baiting operation
- Use good quality carrots as bait so they are attractive to the rabbits.
- Pre-feed for at least a week prior to poison baiting. Pre-feeding will habituate the rabbits to eating the carrot, and indicate where the rabbits are eating and how much. This is an important step and will lead to a more successful baiting operation (see below).
Evenly distribute baited carrots around the feeding area to ensure that many rabbits have access
Check and replace the baits every two days to ensure it remains attractive. Continue replacing baits until the amount eaten drops significantly, indicating that the pindone has been effective in the area.
How to pre-feed
- Place untreated bait in areas where rabbits are known to be feeding in the late afternoon/early evening.
- Every 1-2 days, check and replace baits, adjusting amounts according to how much is being eaten. In areas where all baits are taken, put down more. If some areas show minimal signs of activity for multiple feeds, then concentrate your baiting operation on areas where the feed is being taken instead.
Symptoms of Poisoning
The symptoms of pindone poisoning include:
- excess salivation
- bloody fluid in the mouth
- blood in the faeces
- progressive general weakening
It is extremely difficult for a dog to eat enough poisoned rabbits to take a toxic dose of pindone. However, a dog that eats the bait may be poisoned. A cat would need to eat most of a dead rabbit each day for several days to be poisoned.
In the event of a domestic animal showing symptoms of pindone poisoning, an antidote is available from most veterinarians. It consists of an injection of Vitamin K, (1 mg/kg liveweight) which counteracts the effects of pindone in the body by increasing the blood clotting abilities.