3 September 2020
The European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) has once again established itself as the major vertebrate pest of UK horticulture, agriculture and forestry, causing economic losses estimated to be in excess of £100M annually. Unfortunately, numbers are on the increase and the total pre-breeding population is estimated to be 37+ million. This is primarily due to a weakening of the myxoma virus and increased levels of genetic resistance. The potential for damage to horticultural interests is therefore likely to increase and it is essential that growers are aware of the various control strategies available, not only to minimise the impact of rabbits but also because they have a statutory responsibility to manage rabbits on their land.