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Tuesday, 23 October 1973
Page: 2573

Mr James asked the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice:

(1)   How many domestic rabbit farms are there in

(a)   New South Wales and

(b)   other States.

(2)   What type of rabbit is bred for commercial purposes.

(3)   Has there been limited growth in this industry during the last 10 years; if so, why.

(4)   Do Pasture Protection Boards usually oppose the breeding of domestic rabbits for commercial purposes.

(5)   Are the rabbits commercially bred usually the large white species of New Zealand origin, and is it most unlikely that this species would become a menace if they were to go at large.

Mr Grassby - The Minister for Primary Industry has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1)   to (5) The question of controls on production of rabbits is, constitutionally, a matter for the States. It is understood that all States, with the exception of

New South Wales, have legislation which prohibits the breeding of rabbits. In New South Wales there are only two rabbit breeding establishments which supply rabbits for research purposes and, it is understood that no new licences are to be issued as there is strong pressure in all States to discourage further development of the industry.

The present attitude to this industry has arisen because of the harmful effects experienced in the past from this animal and its depredation of rural and grazing resources.

As the Australian Government has no direct responsibility for this matter it is suggested that, should the honourable member wish to pursue his inquiries, he should contact the Departments of Agriculture in each State.

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