Poll: As rabbits are to be gassed on Beccles Common, do you think animals should be culled?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012
4:47 PM

Wild rabbits are to be gassed as part of a move to control their numbers on Beccles Common.

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Beccles Town Council have authorised a company to gas rabbits in three particular areas, after they caused irreparable damage to the public land.

It is a decision that has led to complaints from some who are concerned about the planned action.

Jill Featherstone, of Old Farm Road, Beccles, said she was sad and angry about the cull.

“It is very alarming to think that the rabbits are going to be gassed,” she said. “What have these poor creatures done to deserve so horrendous and painful death, because after all they are part of the ecology of our common land, not a priceless crop?

“They may dig holes, but when you walk around the common you will find a trackway full of big holes. It is also muddy and overgrown in places. We do not gas mass murderers, thank goodness, so why this on our common?”

She added: “I cannot help but think that this is done to scare the dog walkers off the common, and what is this terrible exercise going to cost Beccles taxpayers?

“I can think of far more important things to spend our money on.”

Hilary Cox said she “totally outraged” and raised concerns about the impact on dogs.

She said she had spoken to dog walkers on the common who thought it was cruel and a waste.

“I personally am not sentimental about the animal and would happily eat a rabbit that was shot, but to indiscriminately kill like this is wicked in my view,” she said.

A statement from Beccles Town Council has confirmed that the gassing would happen later this month.

“It is for the benefit of the common because we regard it as a valuable asset to Beccles and irreparable damage is being done to the fabric of the surface and grasses.

“We have consulted with the police and Suffolk Wildlife Trust and have a fully licensed contract company to carry out work on three small areas.”

Ray Walding, club secretary of Beccles Golf Club, which is based at the common, said it was not due to the club that they were being gassed.

He said it was part of the council’s responsibly to look after the common and it was the first cull he could remember since he was involved in the club in 1998.

However, he said the club was in support of the cull calling the rabbits a “pest” and “vermin”.

He said: “The problem is the whole of the common has deteriorated by the rabbits, not just the golf course.

“The whole common is full of rabbit holes.”

He added that he believed a dog walker had broken two bones in her wrist earlier this year after stepping in a rabbit hole.

This cull of wild animals is not the first to cause a divide in opinion locally.

Last week a parliamentary debate on the proposed cull of wild badgers, aimed at stopping the spread of bovine tuberculosis among cattle, saw supporters claiming too many threaten the country’s dairy industry, while campaigners called for a vaccination programme.

While earlier this year a controversial pigeon cull saw around 100 birds shot and netted in North Walsham.

44 comments

  • Yes Absolutley, EAT them too. Feed the hungry on cold days wit Hare or Rabbit stew.

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    Paul Morley

    Friday, November 2, 2012

  • Perhaps we should go round certain parts of the UK and start to gas certain sections of the human population as tney are bredding like rabbits as well. I would be truly happy to do that job great satisfaction.

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    Footyboy16

    Friday, November 2, 2012

  • Dear Footyboy16 I believe your solution tried to great affect during the period 1937 -- 1945 and those responsible rightly hung for genocide.

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    Paul Morley

    Friday, November 2, 2012

  • Baguio.I have to pay £65 to the council for a rat catcher.The golf club would have to do likewise.I know it is a common but it appears that it is only the golf club who are complaining so send them the bill.Incidently the rats that come in from my garden are from a nearby allotments but I still have to pay.It is also now £40 for a wasps nest.

    Report this comment

    john kendall

    Monday, November 12, 2012

  • Baguio,I would like to take you up on one issue when you say that sportsmen put more money into the countryside than any other organisation.Charities from many walks of life invest millions.This is normally public money or lottery funding[which is also public money]How do we improve the countryside.Stop building on green sites,flood plains and pay the farmers a decent price for their produce.We have lost every farm [5] where I live.What for,motorways,out of town supermarkets and cheap housing on green field sites.All the hedgerows have been removed,public footpaths blocked.The onslaught on green field sites has got to stop.

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    john kendall

    Saturday, November 10, 2012

  • Bagiuo,why just rabbits?I have not heard from any river users about vermin on the river banks[ex.Coypu] Footallers play on park pitches where there are rabbits.Yes rabbits can be a nuisance but no more so than pidgeons,squirrels,foxes,stray cats and the list goes on so why just rabbits on a common?Tidy the common up and the rabbits should return to the hedgerow.

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    john kendall

    Thursday, November 8, 2012

  • If we are going to cull animals that are a pest could I suggest we include cats!! I for one am sick and tired of others peoples cats using my garden as a toilet and killing wild birds,

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    Mr T

    Saturday, November 3, 2012

  • The point everybody has missed is that this is Beccles Common not private land. The rabbits have been living there longer than golfers have been losing ballscareless walkers breaking bones in the holes, just be more careful and don't blame the bunnies. Perhaps they should gas the people who leave doggy waste behind!

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    Lardofale

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • By the way John, Coypus became extinct in the British Isles in 1987! Not much requirement to control them on the water ways these days!

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    baguio

    Thursday, November 8, 2012

  • Man is to blame, we have completely messed up the balance of nature and continue to do so without any concerns for the future.

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    John L Norton

    Friday, November 2, 2012

  • I really feel sorry for baguio and the golf club.How do they get rid of squirrels,rats,mice,foxes and magpies?This is just a war on rabbits because they are unfortunate and live in burrows.The rabbits were there before the golf club so why build a golf course there anyway?I have foxws and squirrels visit my garden on a daily basis,will the council come and get rid of them?No.

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    john kendall

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

  • 'He added that he believed a dog walker had broken two bones in her wrist earlier this year after stepping in a rabbit hole' But dear old ladies and their dogs killed by cattle all that happens is 'well, her dog must of spooked the cows' and nothing is done, no protection for people using 'public' footpaths, still considered as much as being peasants now as we were hundreds of years ago, oh dear killed by cattle, tough luck, bye. And there isn't a lot of space left for nature anymore, certainly not in 'the countryside' 'sportsmen' which I would call it sport if birds carried bombs or rabbits had machine guns so both sides can score, oh so cleverly wipe out all predators, then whine about the fallout, more rabbits, more pigeons etc, man should stop messing with nature.

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    Jason Bunn

    Friday, November 9, 2012

  • People are animals. Cull a few of those greedy b*****ds.

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    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, November 4, 2012

  • John K, charities might invest millions but a lot of that goes on board-walks, car- parks , visitor centres, hides, salaries and buying up good farmland to flood because they are too ignorant to look after the reserves they have got properly. Real conservation and habitat creation of value is more often done at the expense of private individuals. Hope you enjoyed your autumn cruise and high water at Potter Bridge!

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Saturday, November 10, 2012

  • Eat them, they sure would be tasty. Dibbs on the big juicy one.

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    Poppy Shewell

    Saturday, November 3, 2012

  • Oh right John Kendal, humans mustn't build anything or do anything where vermin is already present? Well as rats live everywhere we might as well stop building anything at all. They live in burrows too so we had better protect them??? Perish the thought that we might encroach on their territory!

    Report this comment

    baguio

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

  • Is baguio a sort of Naarfolk redneck? Wonderful parody he does, if not. He can`t be real, surely? An Alan Partridge-style spoof. Or is he an endangered species? We can but hope......

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    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, November 4, 2012

  • The real problem and threat to the common is the unctrolled spread of the gorse bushes. The rabbits are able to live in the gorse bushes all over the common rather than sticking to the hedgerows. The gorse also makes playing golf there dangerous as at many holes the pin is invisible and people walking their dogs are putting their lives in danger. Remove the gorse and fill the holes and the common will recover.

    Report this comment

    Chris Cox

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

  • Baguio.I have to pay £65 to the council for a rat catcher.The golf club would have to do likewise.I know it is a common but it appears that it is only the golf club who are complaining so send them the bill.Incidently the rats that come in from my garden are from a nearby allotments but I still have to pay.It is also now £40 for a wasps nest.

    Report this comment

    john kendall

    Monday, November 12, 2012

  • We are in their habitat. Gassing is cruel. Organize a shoot and hand them out to the needy.

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    Diana B

    Sunday, November 4, 2012

  • The real problem and threat to the common is the unctrolled spread of the gorse bushes. The rabbits are able to live in the gorse bushes all over the common rather than sticking to the hedgerows. The gorse also makes playing golf there dangerous as at many holes the pin is invisible and people walking their dogs are putting their lives in danger. Remove the gorse and fill the holes and the common will recover.

    Report this comment

    Chris Cox

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

  • Baguio.I have to pay £65 to the council for a rat catcher.The golf club would have to do likewise.I know it is a common but it appears that it is only the golf club who are complaining so send them the bill.Incidently the rats that come in from my garden are from a nearby allotments but I still have to pay.It is also now £40 for a wasps nest.

    Report this comment

    john kendall

    Monday, November 12, 2012

  • The real problem and threat to the common is the unctrolled spread of the gorse bushes. The rabbits are able to live in the gorse bushes all over the common rather than sticking to the hedgerows. The gorse also makes playing golf there dangerous as at many holes the pin is invisible and people walking their dogs are putting their lives in danger. Remove the gorse and fill the holes and the common will recover.

    Report this comment

    Chris Cox

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

  • But who is going to protect the ferreters whilst they carry out their work John? Gassing is quicker and more efficient than ferreting so will be cheaper in the long run especially when security from anti’s is factored in to the equation. I totally agree that it’s a shame that the gassed rabbits are wasted but several people have already commented about the cost involved in this so what can the council do? Rabbits are currently only worth £1 so that is not going to offset the cost much either.

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    baguio

    Sunday, November 11, 2012

  • baguio.I appreciate that but there was a "rumour"that Coypu had been sighted in recent years.Spend a few nights on a boat and you will find more than Coypu.We had a massive rat at Beccles Yacht Station.He stole our dinghy.Gas or what!!!

    Report this comment

    john kendall

    Friday, November 9, 2012

  • The real problem and threat to the common is the unctrolled spread of the gorse bushes. The rabbits are able to live in the gorse bushes all over the common rather than sticking to the hedgerows. The gorse also makes playing golf there dangerous as at many holes the pin is invisible and people walking their dogs are putting their lives in danger. Remove the gorse and fill the holes and the common will recover.

    Report this comment

    Chris Cox

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

  • I'm sure there's plenty of local sportsmen (and women) that would happily ferret and shoot the rabbits for FREE. The Rabbits will also get eaten, so won't go to waste.

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    Lord Elf

    Friday, November 2, 2012

  • No irony. Hunting rabbits can be a sport. Don't forget, the Romans introduced rabbits for sport.

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    Lord Elf

    Saturday, November 3, 2012

  • Feral pigeons causing damage and pollution were shot in North Walsham not too long ago. Mink traps are set all over British water ways permanently too. Rabbits do not burrow into flat close cropped land such as football pitches although I agree that their scrapping's are still a menace to footballers ankles! The fact is that in our blame claim culture the land owners will be liable is they do nothing and people get hurt due to falling in rabbit burrows and they're legally obliged to control rabbits as all land owners are so why the big problem? We're not talking endangered species here, we're taking rabbits.

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    baguio

    Thursday, November 8, 2012

  • What can they do? If they gave permission for a few people to shoot the rabbits the anti's would turn up and who knows what might happen. Too many anti's are nothing but violent thugs with no idea of how the countryside works. I for one would not turn up on public land with a gun without police protection these days which is a sad sign of the times. Too many trouble makers with nothing better to do. I'm sure that the council would rather that the rabbits were controlled by shooting too but it's not an option these days! By law all land owners must control rabbits on their land so it's not like the council have a choice anyway!

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    baguio

    Friday, November 2, 2012

  • If the damage is irreparable, what's the point in killing the rabbits?

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    Betty Swallocks

    Friday, November 2, 2012

  • Bagiou,you have not answered the question.Why build a golf course knowing it is infested with rabbits,no doubt moles as well?This operation was not going to be carried out on public demand just a few golfers with nothing better to do.Rats are a national problem,I have just paid the council £60 to put a trap down.Who is going to pay to rid the common of rabbits?I get squirrels running into my home if I am careless and leave the door open,they cause more damage than rabbits but nobody wants the responsibility to get rid of them.Leave the rabbits alone and tidy up the common.

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    john kendall

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

  • The Defra web site has figures for the economic impact of introduced species and pest species each year.There never was a balance of nature in England with the rabbit for the rabbit is an old introduction, not a native, and was previously farmed in warrens for meat and fur but now is very costly to agriculture.Rabbits cause losses of up to £263million pa , £62 million rats and £35 million non native deer ( Defra figures). Anyone who has seen a field edge hedge or bank invaded by rabbits will know that they can eat off a large area of a field no problem-maize and other cereals, sugar beet , brassicas etc causing complete crop loss, which is why there are laws which say rabbits may and should be controlled. If the common is anywhere near farmland the council has a duty not to let it become a refuge for a growing number of rabbits. With time the foxes, badgers ( which eat baby rabbits) and buzzards may thin them out a bit and a good ferreter would help and be more acceptable than gassing. Only humans with a full stomach would wring their hands over the humane cull of rabbits. Or other introduced species which threaten the well being of native species or are an economic problem.In my opinion an all out assault on the brown rat is well overdue. The ignorance of many householders who encourage the things by careless feeding of birds and failing to inspect their gardens and put down bait boxes is shocking. If they could see the Weils disease carrying rat widdle on their lawns and patios where their kids play they might wake up.

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    Daisy Roots

    Saturday, November 10, 2012

  • Love the irony in the use of the word 'sportsmen'!

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    Thoreauwasright

    Saturday, November 3, 2012

  • Jason, please wake up and smell the coffee. Man has already done the damage as I have stated (and long before you or I were alive too). The balance of nature is ruined. If we do not cull animals then they will die a horrible death through old age. eg Deer grow 2 sets of teeth as we do. They would starve to death when their adult set wear out if stalkers do not cull the old animals! The old lady who died when the cows stampeded recently was trespassing well away from any public footpaths. Sad but true! Sportsmen put more money into the countryside than any organisation out there. What do you do to make the countryside a better and healthier place for all humans and animals? Not a lot I suspect. But if you do I apologise! Please truthfully let us know what it is though?

    Report this comment

    baguio

    Friday, November 9, 2012

  • Daisy Roots, you're clearly a man after my own heart!

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    baguio

    Saturday, November 10, 2012

  • 8Oz Bunny Burgers please. Jerk seasoning might be good... Who nose?

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    LarsonAround

    Saturday, November 3, 2012

  • You are correct John. Man has indeed messed up the balance of nature. However when we want to try to correct this balance we're met with resistance. Can you please explain why you're against the badger cull then John? Is it because they look nice because I can find no other reason if you believe what you have just written?

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    baguio

    Friday, November 2, 2012

  • Sorry Daisy.We had to cancel our October hoiday this year.First we have missed for years.As for car parks etc.we were only saying the other day,"Where can you park if you want to visit the Broads"? I agree with your comments re charities grabbing as much land as they can without the expertise on how to manage it.As for the forests etc.you have the likes of the RSPB shouting from the tree tops but how much money do they actually invest in protecting the birds habitats because round here they have never uttered a sound when the farms disappeared and the hederows were torn up.It was only the Ramblers Association who made any effort to save the walks and footpaths.Rabbits,yes they are a pest and like you have said it would not take long for a couple of ferrets to sort them out.There is no need for gas.Not only that they could be eaten.

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    john kendall

    Sunday, November 11, 2012

  • Makes me laugh when I see that 42% of the people who have voted on here are against a cull of animals. Oh really! I bet they would change their tune if their houses suffered a rat infestation! But of course rats aren't as cuddly as rabbits or badgers so they don't count! Hypocrites the lot of them! I sorry people but the problem is the problem and needs to be delt with regardless of what the animal or bird looks like.

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    baguio

    Sunday, November 4, 2012

  • Why not build a golf course there John? Just like the gorse bushes (which I agree are also a pest) you get in a pest control company as is being proposed, and eradicate them. Rabbits are also a problem all over the British Isles just like rats by the way. Harden your hearts people. The world does not stop because of vermin. Like it or not but Humans are at the top of the food chain. Maybe some shouldn’t be but that is another issue all together!

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    baguio

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

  • All animal populations, if unchecked, will eventually become overcrowded and liable both to disease and to starvation. In the absenc of natural predators they do need to be culled. Gas is much kinder than diesease. Similarly with badgers, the overcrowded sets lead to the spread of TB amongst them and a very unpleasant death.

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    Francis

    Saturday, November 3, 2012

  • Animals should not be over protected. There are times when they need to be culled because of all sorts of problems they are causing. People should be free to sort these problems out. People have just gone soft.

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    Johnny Norfolk

    Friday, November 2, 2012

  • Asolutley kill them. More importanatly EAT them. Maybe the poor hungry folk of the region would appreciate hare or rabbit stew on cold day.

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    Paul Morley

    Friday, November 2, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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