The fight against rabbits has stepped up a notch, with SA landholders across the state soon able to have access to a Warren Blasting Unit, unveiled on the Fleurieu Peninsula on Tuesday.
The unit has been bought by the state government, and is used to destroy rabbit warrens in areas inaccessible to the normal process of ripping them open.
The WBU works by releasing a precise mixture of gases into the tunnels, which is ignited by a remote detonation device. The resulting high energy blast wave instantly travels through the warrens killing any pest within, and collapsing the tunnels.
Primary Industries Minister David Basham said there were strict controls in place regarding the use of the unit, particularly to prevent bushfires and to ensure it is operated humanely.
He said rabbits were regarded as agriculture's most costly pest.
"Rabbits are estimated to impact agricultural production by $200 million a year and threaten more than 300 plant and animal species," Mr Basham said.
"Reports suggest rabbit numbers have been worse this last year due to abundant green feed from good rains and a lack of heat over the last summer."
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The WBU will be demonstrated to farmers by PIRSA officers. Some Landscape Boards and contractors have also bought units, which are available for landholder use.
The unit will also be able to be used by new and established pest control businesses to or improve their services.
The device was unveiled with a demonstration at Greg Crawford's property at Hay Flat.
"We'll look to hopefully hire one of the units for a week or so," he said.
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