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Thursday, 14 June 1906
Page: 229

Mr LEE (Cowper) . - I think that the amendment renders the motion more acceptable. We may rest assured that the New South Wales Government will take every precaution against the introduction of disease that would prove harmful to animals other than rabbits. I gather from conversation with several members of the New South Wales Legislature that they are determined that no undue risk shall be run, and, therefore, the motion, as proposed to be amended, should- meet their views. A great deal has been said in. regard to the importance of the rabbit industry, and it must be admitted that a number of persons are making a living by trapping rabbits. It would, however, be a good thing for Australia if the industry were nearer to being ruined. Then the squatters would have to employ men to keep the pest down, instead of allowing matters to take their course, and leaving the trappers to make a living as best they can. We all know that a great many experiments have been conducted with a view to getting rid of the rabbits. Some little time ago a very high Government official approved of a suggestion that a strip of canvass 200 yards long should have painted upon it a representation of luxuriant grass and other vegetation, and should be so displayed as to attract rabbits into enclosures, from which they could not escape. In my opinion, Dr. Danysz will not succeed in his present endeavours, but I think that those who are interested in getting rid of the rabbit pest should have every opportunity afforded them to put the proposed scheme to the test. Effective safeguards should be adopted to prevent the dissemination of disease until we can feel assured that no harmful results will ensue. I believe that, although rabbits are to be found in South Africa, they have not yet become a pest, because a particular kind of ant makes his way into their burrows and destroys them. Perhaps it would be a good plan to introduce some of these ants into Australia.

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