Call for 'archaic' Queensland bunny ban to be removed

DESEXED domestic rabbits should be permitted as pets in Queensland, with an Ipswich councillor calling for a review of 'archaic laws'.

David Pahlke, the Division 10 councillor and domestic rabbit defender, again urged the ban on pet rabbits to be overturned.

"This is 2018, not 1888 so let's get serious, have a good look at it," he said.

Cr Pahlke stressed domestic rabbits should be desexed, registered and tightly controlled to mitigate against environmental risks.

He acknowledged the environmental destruction caused by wild rabbits but said domestic ones would not survive if they escaped.

"The experts in rabbits tell me the rabbits they want as pets would not survive in the wild," he said.

He acknowledged previous petitions had "fallen on deaf ears" but said he would keep stating his views.

"Those 'waskily wabbits' have bolted," he said, referencing Looney Tunes cartoons.

Cr David Pahlke. Photo Inga Williams / The Queensland Times
Cr David Pahlke. Photo Inga Williams / The Queensland Times Inga Williams


Magicians in Queensland can secure special permission from the State Government to keep the pet for business use.

Cr Pahlke said pet rabbits would be a hit with children and could help with therapy.

"A little bit of common sense should apply," he said.

Each year the Ipswich City Council pays the Darling Downs-Moreton Rabbit Board $130,000 to maintain a rabbit-hunting operation.

Ipswich councillors have asked for an update on the board's action in the region.

Darling Downs-Moreton Rabbit Board chief executive officer Tom Upton would not comment on Cr Pahlke's call for domestic rabbits to be allowed but said wild rabbits in Ipswich were mostly found near RAAF Base Amberley and Marburg.

"There's not a high infestation of rabbits in the broad area," he said.

According to the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, rabbits are Australia's most destructive introduced animal pest, costing about $1billion each year.

It noted although "desexed and contained rabbits pose minimal risk to the environment and agriculture, there are practical obstacles involved for the mandatory desexing of privately owned animals".

"Mandatory desexing will also be difficult to enforce."