rabbit proof fence - did it work

Just watched the Australian film Rabbit proof fence. These fences stretched right across australia to stop the spread of rabbits. Did it work, or did the furry rascals just dig under them?

Short answer: no.

Maintaining thousands of miles of fence is almost impossible, especially when you’re trying to keep out something as small as a rabbit. It wasn’t just that the rabbits could, in some places, dig underneath. Erosion, mainly from the wind, also carved out gaps and holes under the fence.

Also, there wasn’t only one fence. There were two or three, and i know that the contruction of at least one of them was completed after the rabbits had already passed that point.

Australia’s biggest and most successful rabbit eradication program began with the introduction of a disease, myxamatosis (sp.?) sometime after WWII. But even that had only limited effectiveness, and there are still rabbits all over the place. When i was a kid, i had quite a few friends who lived on farms (usually sheep and wheat farms) in Central Western New South Wales, and one of our pastimes was to go out shooting rabbits.

And then there’s the Dingo Fence.

Of course should have checked Wiki whch also has an article on the rabbit fence. I am sure that site will put Straight Dope out of business

Thing is, even if a fence were impenetrable, how could you be sure there weren’t already large numbers of rabbits on the “wrong” side? If even a few hundred rabbits were already on the opposite side, you’d be likely to have a huge rabbit population there in short order. (In case you hadn’t heard, they breed like rabbits!)

Do people keep rabbits as pets or is it illegal to do so because of the pest problem?

*Avoids size comparison to average Mexican *

Would a trench work? Is there anything so noxious to lagamorphs that you could block their movements that way?

I mean Australia

It is, as far as i know, perfectly legal to keep a rabbit as a pet. Some good friends of mine bought a pet rabbit for their kids.

I think it’s the case that there are so goddamned many of the things in the wild that a few extras as house pets isn’t going to make a hell of a difference.

Rabbits are legal in most states, but are illegal in Qld. and NT.

A totally ridiculous law of course since any areas of the continent that rabbits can colonise they have colonised, but there you go.

Some friends of mine when I was a kid had a couple of rather strange … errrm … guinea pigs. They were larger than your average guinea pig. They also seemed to hop, and have big floppy ears…