Students find rabbit traps set near Riverina school oval

A file image of a steel rabbit trap. Several traps were discovered near a school in Coleambally.
A file image of a steel rabbit trap. Several traps were discovered near a school in Coleambally.

Students at Coleambally Central School risked mutilation when several vicious steel traps were found planted near the school's oval last week. 

Murrumbidgee Council have alerted police and Local Land Services about the steel jawed traps which were planted in a treeline growing in vacant lot to the north of the school's oval. 

The traps are designed for catching rabbits, but are illegal under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1979 due to agony they impose on any creature unfortunate enough to get a limb stuck between their jaws. 

"They are steel traps with the claw that trap the leg," Council's general manager John Scarce said. 

"Not only are they dangerous to humans but cruel to animals and dangerous to little kids particularly." 

Traps found: Murrumbidgee Council have posted notices near the oval where the traps were found.

Traps found: Murrumbidgee Council have posted notices near the oval where the traps were found.

Responding to the discovery, council have posted several signs around the oval reminding residents that the traps are illegal and urging people to be cautious and report the traps to police. 

While Local Land Services have prioritised wild rabbits as a key pest species which are widespread across many parts of the Riverina, their numbers are relatively low in Murrumbidgee Local Government Area compared to areas like Narrandera. 

Rabbit map: LLS distribution of wild rabbits in the Riverina. Picture: Local Land Services Regional Strategic Pest Animal Management Plan for 2018 to 2023

Rabbit map: LLS distribution of wild rabbits in the Riverina. Picture: Local Land Services Regional Strategic Pest Animal Management Plan for 2018 to 2023

Local Land Services use ground baiting, warren destruction, biological control programs, exclusion fencing and aerial baiting against wild rabbits through out the Riverina. 

"Council has no policy on culling rabbits, nothing has come to our attention that there is a plague proportion outbreak of rabbits in town," Mr Scarce said. 

Residents who find steel jawed traps should report them to Coleambally Police Station 02 6954 4104.