As part of a drive to sweep away “red tape ” Defra claim:
This order has no effective impact. The general obligation to control rabbits has not been effectively enforced for some years now.
and so they propose to scrap the order because they feel it falls into a category of regulations that:
…are no longer being used so have no impact on anyone.
Before we respond to Defra we would be interested to know what you think of this proposal so please take our short survey below.
Background to the Rabbit Clearance Order
Pre-myxomatosis (accidently introduced in 1953) rabbits were the major vertebrate agricultural pest, causing an estimated £1.4bn of annual damage at today’s prices. The Pest Act 1954 sought to address this by giving Ministers the power to make rabbit clearance orders imposing general obligations upon occupiers of designated areas to control rabbits on that land (either by killing or taking them, or preventing damage by them). Rabbit Clearance Order No 148 consolidated all such extant orders covering England and Wales.
More about the history and current status of the rabbit can be read here.