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Author Topic: "The Rabbit Proof Fence"........was it?  (Read 1069 times)

Offline antonymous

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"The Rabbit Proof Fence"........was it?
« on: 23 June, 2013, 08:54:34 AM »
I watched this poignant film last night - but apart from the  social implications of the story I was left wondering was it a success in stopping the spread of rabbits across Oz?
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Offline P-Kasso2

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Re: "The Rabbit Proof Fence"........was it?
« Reply #1 on: 24 June, 2013, 07:07:46 AM »
I  didn't see the TV programme but I have kept rabbits and, around this part of East Sussex, I know a few farmers on the Downs where rabbits are a major problem.

I'd say that rabbits will see to it that there is no such thing as a rabbit proof fence..

Rabbits will dig as deep as it takes to create safe burrows or get under, through or round obstacles.

Normally rabbits can dig 3m down...a metre or so more if the soil is soft.

So any fence, to be a even slight problem for a dedicated escape-artist rabbit, will have to have 3 or 4 metre foundations, not just the fence post foundations but also the palings or netting will have to extend 3 to 4 metres deep. Expensive.

It'd also have to be steel or a similar 'ungnawable-through' material. More expense!

The next problem is...Rabbits (just like cats) squeeze through impossibly narrow gaps...so the palings or netting would have to have minimum 2cm gaps. More expense.

Plus the fence will need maintaining along its entire length...one gap and two rabbits getting through will mean thousands of offspring in a few years munching away at any crops around.

Of course there are plenty of extra measures that will have to be used to reinforce the deterrent factor of a rabbit fence ranging from lethal poisons to more organically-friendly shotguns and Jack Russel terriers but each method has its drawbacks.

One farmer out in Horstead swears by rotten eggs!

He has loads of hens so he has plenty of ammo...he spreads the mouldy eggs around and, apparently, the rabbits register this as the 'dead, rotting' smell of a meat-eating predator and they back off very sharpish in rampant fear and caution.

He says you get used to the pong after a while but the rabbits stay convinced that there are foxes or dangerous dogs around.

I wonder if the Aussies have enough mouldy eggs to criss-cross Australia?
« Last Edit: 24 June, 2013, 07:12:27 AM by P-Kasso2 »
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Offline antonymous

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Re: "The Rabbit Proof Fence"........was it?
« Reply #2 on: 24 June, 2013, 09:17:17 AM »
The Specification of the fence is thus:
"The fence posts are placed 12 feet (3.7 m) apart, and have a minimum diameter of 4 inches (10 cm). There were initially three wires of 12½ gauge placed at 4 inches (10 cm), 20 inches (51 cm), and 3 feet (91 cm) above ground, with a barbed wire added later at 3'4" and a plain wire at 3'7" to make the fence a barrier for dingoes and foxes as well. Wire netting was placed on this, which extended to 6 inches (15 cm) below ground.
The fences took six years to build. When completed in 1907, the Rabbit-Proof Fence (including all three fences) stretched 2,021 miles (3,253 km). The cost to build the fences at the time was £337,841."

                                                                                 

Another fence was later installed on the Queensland /NSW border.
                                                                                   
« Last Edit: 24 June, 2013, 09:21:32 AM by antonymous »
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Offline P-Kasso2

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Re: "The Rabbit Proof Fence"........was it?
« Reply #3 on: 24 June, 2013, 09:57:31 AM »
The Specification of the fence is thus:
"The fence posts are placed 12 feet (3.7 m) apart...Wire netting was placed on this, which extended to 6 inches (15 cm) below ground.

6 inches below the ground? Doomed to failure! Your average rabbit could JCB under that in five minutes flat. It has got to be 3 or 4 metres!

PS Loved your pic of the Wimbledon-playing rabbits...says it all! Exactly what the little blighters would have thought about such a ludicrously under-engineered fence. Deterrent? Not even a minor inconvenience.

Just realised...No-one has actually answered your question of whether the 1907 fence worked or not. Did it? I doubt it...never underestimate rabbits!


« Last Edit: 24 June, 2013, 10:16:17 AM by P-Kasso2 »
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Offline antonymous

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Re: "The Rabbit Proof Fence"........was it?
« Reply #4 on: 24 June, 2013, 10:03:48 AM »
Myxomatosis sorted the rabbit problem out in 1950.
"It was devastatingly effective, reducing the estimated rabbit population from 600 million to 100 million in two years. However, the rabbits remaining alive were those least affected by the disease. Genetic resistance to myxomatosis was observed soon after the first release and most rabbits acquired partial immunity in the first two decades. Resistance has been increasing slowly since the 1970s, and the disease now only kills about 50% of infected rabbits. In an attempt to increase that number, a second virus (rabbit calicivirus) was introduced into the rabbit population in 1996."
“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Sometimes it'svice versa"