A pest control operation at Balclutha’s Riverside Reserve began last Wednesday and Clutha District Council (CDC) advises people to avoid walking dogs in the pest control area and ensure dogs are on a leash in the surrounding areas from July 19 to early October.

In order to target high rabbit numbers in the area, pest control contractors have made two applications of carrots laced with the poison Pindone for the operation: In the fenced motocross area and at the aerodrome.

CDC transport and facilities operations manager Henri van Zyl said signs were erected in advance of the poisoning to ensure people would be aware, while the bait carrots were dyed green for easy identification and should not be touched.

‘‘People are being advised to avoid walking their dogs in the pest control area [the motocross area and aerodrome] during the pest control period, as well as keeping dogs on leads in the surrounding area, ’’ Mr van Zyl said.

‘‘Depending on how much they eat, Pindone can make dogs very sick or could be fatal. If you have any concerns contact your vet who will have stocks of the antidote, vitamin K. This needs to be administered without delay.’’

The pest control work is happening to help CDC get feral rabbit numbers below the required level set in the New Zealand Biosecurity Act.

Pindone carrots are used in winter as rabbit food sources are most scarce and fewer young rabbits are present.

Generally rabbits will die in their burrows after eating pindone, however there may be some which die out in the open.

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