DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND SURVEY, VICTORIA.

VERMIN DESTRUCTION.

RECIPES AND INSTRUCTIONS, ETC., FOR POISONING,

AND

GENERAL INFORMATION

IN CONNEXION WITH

RABBIT DESTRUCTION

•    AND

WIRE NETTING.

PREPARED BY

MR. FRANK AT .LA N,

CHIEF INSPECTOR VERMIN DESTRUCTION ACT. May, 1913.

By Authority: Albert J. Multett. Government Printer, Melbourno. »818.

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RABBIT DESTRUCTION.

The following are the poisons used for the destruction of rabbits throughout the State of Victoria by the Crown at the present time:—

Phosphorized pollard, and strychnined apples, carrots, quinces, and pears.

These have been found ample for requirements. Other poisons used by land-holders are phosphorized wheat and oats, jam and strychnine.

Phosphorized Pollard.

Obtain a quart preserving jar or similar vessel, half fill with water, in which place one stick (2 oz.) of phosphorus. Then pour in sufficient carbon to cover the phosphorus. The carbon having a much greater gravity than water will go to the bottom of the vessel, and not mix with the water. Being under the water there is no risk whatever either from it or the phosphorus. In about 8 or 10 minutes the phosphorus is dissolved. Then pour contents of vessel into 6 quarts of cold water, add 12 lbs. of sugar, when dissolved, add pollard gradually till it comes to the consistency of thick dough, when it is fit for use. The stirring must be continued from the time the contents of the vessel are put into the 6 quarts of water until the operation is completed. The mixing vessel must be kepi scrupulously clean, and care taken that there are no holes in it. The above will result in about 50 lbs. of bait. It is necessary that the phosphorus should be entirely covered with the carbon, therefor© the smaller the vessel the less carbon is required. One tablespoonful of carbon will dissolve a stick of phosphorus. The bait should be made the night previous to laying when carbon has been used, so that no trace or smell of this latter will remain. [There are several preparations of dissolved phosphorus mixtures on the market which do away with the necessity of using stick phosphorus, and which are quite as good, and are also a great saving in time, risk, and labour.]

Phosphorized Oats or Wheat.

Quantities: 60 lbs. best grain, 4 gallons water, about 9 ozs. phosphorus. Dissolve the phosphorus in carbon and water, as shown in phosphorized pollard recipe. Make a half-gallon of thick paste with flour and boiling water, free from lumps. Place the grain in a revolving machine made for this purpose. When the paste is cold, pour the dissolved phosphorus, &c., into it, and stir well until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Make a hollow space in the grain to receive the paste, and pour it into it. Move the machine to and fro until the grain has caught up all the paste (say, three or four minutes), then turn the machine gently. When the smoke which is created is sufficiently dense as to hide the grain from sight, turn it out on to clean bagging, spread out in a shady place on, say, some sheets of iron; keep stirring the wheat until all signs of smoke has disappeared, when it will be shortly ready for use. The above strength of phosphorus gives the best killing results. Using a greater strength may defeat the object in view by setting up oxidation of the grain. Many failures are due to this. Although grain may be prepared in open vessels, the use of the revolving machine is infinitely surer and safer.

In cases where carbon is not used, the following method can be adopted, but it is not considered in any way as good as the above:—

Place the grain in a revolving machine. Light a fire close at hand, upon which place two buckets with 2 gallons of water in each. When the water boils, put £ lb. (four sticks) of phosphorus into one of the buckets, and stir slowly for three or four minutes until phosphorus is dissolved. Pour this mixture into machine, and add water from the other bucket as quickly as possible. Close the lid and turn machine slowly for about twenty minutes. If the machine has not then cooled sufficiently to allow the hand to be placed upon it without burning, pour a bucket of water over it and turn for a few minutes. The machine should be turned for five minutes four hours after mixing, and also again for the same

fi

time eight or nine hours afterwards. In 24 hours the mixture should be taken out and spread at once. Give machine a few turns before taking oats out.

Note.—As some land-holders still prefer to use grain, the above methods are mentioned; but I wish to impress the fact that no grain is now used by this Department, which is relying entirely on phosphorized pollard, and strychnined fruit and carrots. These methods have been proved infinitely better than grain poisoning.

•    Jam and Strychnine.

Eight pounds of jam (any kind) and £ oz. of powdered strychnine; mix well and lay on a small piece of bark or wood in a ploughed furrow.

In this connexion the use of the prepared jams on sale by manufacturing firms is recommended, in view of the fact that a small quantity goes a long way, and the cheapness and certainty of the manufactured article. In country where ants are plentiful it is expedient to put the jam down as late as possible, as this insect readily finds it, and is objectionable to the rabbit.

Note.—This poison is not as satisfactory as fruit or carrot poisoning, and is very much more tedious and expensive. It is not used by this Department.

Apples and Strychnine.

Cut up the apples into baits about half-an-inch to five-eights square. Dust with 1 oz. strychnine, powdered, to 10 or 12 lbs. of apples, say, with a large-sized pepper-castor. Any sugar in the proportion of about 1 lb. to 15 or 20 lbs. of apples, dusted on the bait, has been found a great additional attraction. This applies when .    the fruit is a little on the sour side. If the apples are

sweet, no sugar is necessary. Lay in a furrow from 6 inches to 3 feet apart, according to the infested state of the place. The advisability of “free feeding1’ several times beforehand where above poison is to be used, cannot be too strongly recommended, in fact, it is practically essential to success. The baits in free

feeding should be exactly the same as those which are poisoned, and should be laid in the same way. If thebaits free from poison are well taken, success is absolutely certain. The .rabbit comes to the furrow eager and unsuspicious, and falls an easy victim.

The poisoned baits should be laid from about 18 inches to about 6 feet apart, according to the infested state of the land, A pound of apples should make about 250 to 300 baits; therefore an ounce of strychnine should do from 2,500 to 3,000 baits. The necessary length of the    

furrow required can thus easily be determined in connexion with what a place may require.

In places where there are only a small number of rabbits it is not a bad plan to peel the apples that are used in the actual poisoning (not necessarily with the “free” baits). This is “making assurance doubly sure,” as every side of the bait will absorb the poison.

In cases where the furrows cannot be readily made, good work can be done by laying the poison on scratches, similar to those made when trapping. When poison is taken, the furrows should be replenished until the rabbits cease to take it. It is hard to err on the side of liberality, but very easy to do the opposite. It is far better to have some poison left in the furrows than to have a few rabbits left for future breeding.

This method has come to stay, splendid results are being obtained throughout the State wherever the above directions are properly followed. The great points in favour of apple poisoning are :— 1 2 3 4

5- If the poisoned baits are put down last thing at night, and looked at early the following morning, there is little danger to stock or bird life; and, under any circumstances, if the baits are laid right in the furrows, stock are not likely to get at them.

6. Young rabbits will take it as freely as old ones.

Pears and Quinces and Strychnine.

Use same as apples. Although these have been successfully used, I would always advise the use of apples in preference; but quinces are very good in the late autumn.

Carrots and Strychnine.

Act in exactly the same way as with apples excepting that, as the carrot is a dry bait, it is necessary to soak the baits for a while in sugar syrup and then drain off and use. Not only is the sugar an additional attraction, but it will, also, hold and absorb the strychnine.

I cannot too strongly recommend the use of apples and carrots. Nothing but the greatest of success has attended their use. It cannot fail if the directions are implicitly followed. I have emphasized the making of the baits square for the following reasons:—When the rabbit’s suspicious nature (and it has plenty of it) is lulled by the free-feeding ” it comes to the poisoned bait keen and eager. The bait being square offers a nice point for a bite, no matter from what side the rabbit approaches it. It is, therefore, able to get a good bit in its mouth at the first bite. That is all that is required, for there is enough strychnine in that one bite to insure death; but, as a matter of fact, the rabbit does not go away from the furrow; it is disappointed at finding quite a different flavour from what it had been experiencing the previous nights, and it will try another or more baits (hoping to find a sweet one) until the poison does its work. That is why the rabbits are nearly always found dead along the furrows—a very useful thing in itself, both as regards skins and carcases. This is also the reason why so largo a proportion of strychnine is used. Another strong point is that the rabbit does not take a number of the baits before succumbing. Although good results have followed the use of inferior apples, I would strongly advise the use of a good quality as the best of results must follow. It is decidedly good to be most liberal in the “ freefeeding.” While one taste of the poisoned bait is enough, it can be readily understood that a proportion of the rabbits may eat a number of the sweet baits, and thus prevent others from getting a knowledge and liking for them so that they will take the poison later. It has often been found advisable to put out six or seven times the quantity of free-feed as compared with that poisoned.

It is most important that the baits be clean cut and not bruised in any place. If the latter, the baits go off much sooner and are not nearly so attractive.

Another great point in favour of these methods is that there is hardly any likelihood of destroying valuable birds. If the baits are put down towards evening and looked to (if any are left) early in the morning, there is practically none at all.

In any case, the experience is that it is a very rare thing to find a bird killed by such, and then it is generally only an odd magpie or a crow. Despite assertions to the contrary, this is the invariable experience of the inspectors and myself; and, in this connexion, I have never had a concrete instance brought under my notice of the destruction of any birds, insectivorous or otherwise. There has been plenty of assertion, but no proofs have been forthcoming.

Digging Out.

While this appears to be a simple matter requiring no points, yet there are several that may be emphasized. There is no doubt that it is the thing in rabbit destruction where it can be done; and yet the experience is that it is one of the easiest things to slum by careless workmen. It is easy to miss little runs or side burrows. If

the land-owner goes over the filled-in burrows the next day and finds any clean cut holes with the soil scratched backwards, he will realize that rabbits are being missed. No burrow or warren should be left partly finished over night. If so, nearly all the rabbits—barring, perhaps, the little ones—will clear out before next day. Any one who has had a perfectly secure wire-netted paddock dug out, knows that the biggest catches are made in the last day or two. Now, when a paddock is not so netted, a very good plan to adopt is to do a day’s digging on, say, the north-east corner, the next day the south-east comer, and then the other corners, and so on, putting in several days before coming back to the starting point. The rabbit is so innately suspicious and “ knowledgeable ” that many will clear out of the burrows next to where the overnight work has been finished, but they will drift back again to those burrows when they find that things are quiet again. By doing this all round a paddock and finally finishing with the central burrows, the best of results will ensue. Even if the occupants of these last barrows are unsettled, they are less likely to go because all round them has been attended and does not offer much harbor. I have followed this principle with much success. In cases where a property is bad with rabbits, burrows, and harbor, I would strongly recommend a real good poisoning -first, and then follow up with the other means. In cases where a place is securely wire-netted either may do; still, I think that a good poisoning first is always better.

Burrows should not be left open after digging out, but should be levelled off, and, if the time of the year suits, be sown with grasses. This is not only a good thing in itself, but it destroys all evidence of burrows, and any rabbits that may come later are very likely to try to make fresh ones, and, in consequence, are slower in making their homes.

Good practical men can fill in the greater portion of the burrows behind them as they go along, leaving very little to do at the finish. On the other hand, if the open trenches and dirt heaps are left, there is the direct invitation to the rabbit to make a fresh start.

Fumigation.

Fumigation undoubtedly is good, especially in sand burrows, old wombat holes, and under roots of trees and rock, and in banks of creeks and rivers; also in flat country that at time of flood is liable to have running water over it. The danger of erosion in such places, when digging out is resorted to, is often very great, and it can be greatly minimized, and more likely altogether prevented, by the use of the fumigator. It is infinitely less expensive than digging out, but the latter is best where the land can stand the cost. In this connexion, I know of no good method other than bisulphide of carbon. Properly used, it can hardly fail.

Wire Netting.

The Act to amend the Fences Act provides the following as the legal requirements for a vermin-proof fence:—

(a)    a fence of any of the kinds mentioned in

section two hundred and ninety-one of the Land Act 1901;

(b)    a post and rail or paling fence of substantial

material firmly erected not less than three feet six inches in height having three wires tightly stretched or two wires and top rail in either case with posts or standards of iron or durable wood not more than twelve feet apart and having a galvanized wire netting not less than three feet six inches wide number seventeen gauge and not larger than a one and a half inch mesh firmly affixed thereto and sunken in the ground not less than six inches;

(c)    a post and rail or paling or wire fence or

portion or portions of a fence of any of the descriptions numbered (I) (II) or (III) mentioned in section four of the Principal Act and to which is firmly affixed galvanized wire netting not less than three feet six inches wide and number seventeen gauge and not larger than a one and a half inch mesh sunken into the ground not less than six inches; and

(d) any fence proclaimed by Order of the Governor in Council under section two hundred and ninety-two of the Land Act 1901, or section seventy-one of the Vermin Destruction Act 1890, or any previous corresponding enactments to be a vermin-proof fence or rabbit-proof fence; but no fence so proclaimed shall for the purposes of this Act be a vermin-proof fence beyond the limits of the part or portion of Victoria if any specified in such Order.

It also contain provisions to enable a land-owner to compel an adjoining neighbour to join in half cost of wire-netting their boundary, after having obtained a certificate from the Chief Inspector that such a fence is necessary. The following is the procedure necessary for obtaining such certificate: —

“ A ” should serve B ” with notice as provided by section 7 of the Fences Act 1890 (No. 1092), and section 5 of Act 2155, specifying the boundary it is desired to fence, and also specifying the kind of vermin-proof fence to be erected, as provided by section 2 in the Act to amend the Fences Act (No. 2155). If, within one month, agreement is not arrived at, or no reply has been received, application can be made to the Chief Inspector for the certificate, as provided by section 4 of Act 2155.

A sketch showing the numbers of allotments, section (of any), areas, and parish, should accompany the application. The full name and address of  B ” should also be furnished, as it is necessary to inform him or her of the issue of certificate.

The above Acts can be obtained from any law stationers, or by forwarding rod. for Act No. 1092, and 7d. for Act 2155, to the Government Printer, Melbourne.

The following regulations in this connexion, with wire-netted fences, are now' law :—

r. Any Inspector who has been appointed by the Governor in Council in accordance with section 10 of the Vermin Destruction Act 1890, may, by notice

in writing under his hand, require an owner or occupier to destroy or remove, within thirty (30) days after service of such notice on such owner 01 occupier, any live or dead tree, shrub, fern, or plant of any kind or description whatsoever, or any rubbish which, in the opinion of the Inspector, renders or tends to render a vermin-proof fence ineffective.

2. If the owner or occupier upon whom such notice is served fails to comply with its requirements within the time allowed, the Inspector may proceed with the work of destruction or removal (as the case may be)    <•

at the sole expense of the owner or occupier, who shall, on demand, pay to the Inspector the cost incurred by him in the execution of such work.

There can be no question that wire-netting is the greatest aid towards dealing with the pest. Once a property is rabbit-proof there ought to be very little difficulty in getting rid of the rabbit; but, unless that fence is absolutely rabbit-proof, its utility as regards the rabbit is practically destroyed. One hole is sufficient to destroy its utility. An unprotected stay, a stump or leaning tree, a gap between the gate and the gate post, and what’s the good of the fence?

The inspectors and myself have seen hundreds of instances of this sort. It is surprising how many cases occur in this connexion of “ spoiling the ship for a ha-porth of tar.” I have known cases where landholders think that their liability as regards rabbits ceases because they have wire-netted their properties, or that the fence does not require a regular looking after to see that it remains rabbit-proof. I need not comment on the fallacy of such ideas. Finally, I have no hesitation in recommending the ij-inch mesh which is quite rabbit-proof, and I feel that there is no necessity to spend several pounds more per mile on a smaller mesh.    c

Trapping.

I would strongly urge land-holders not to encourage trapping on their properties, or, at any rate, not to depend upon it in any way. At best, it is only a temporary relief—a kind of lessening foi the time being

—with greater trouble later on. A good breeding season always follows trapping because of the great proportion of bucks that are caught as compared with does. The latter always breed better when the males are in a small proportion. Any one who digs out burrows after trapping is finished, and sexes the rabbits obtained, will be surprised at the great percentage of does. Then again, the trapping ,    out of burrows and filling up of same is bad work. Long

before the rabbits belonging to a burrow can be caught, a big percentage of them will clear out and find temporary lodgments anywhere in the surrounding country. The land-owner flatters himself presently that all have been »    caught and has the burrows filled in under that impres

sion. In a very little while, when the temporarily dispersed rabbits find that all is quiet, they will return and re-occupy their old homes, much to the indignation of the land-owner, who often thinks that he had cleared his place, and that fresh rabbits had come from the adjoining country instead of being his own come back again.

As a matter of fact, any trapping will cause a large proportion of rabbits to leave the vicinity for the time being.

Trapping is, consequently, not recognised by the Department as a satisfactory method of destruction, and inspectors will see that other and more complete measures follow.

Danger of Fire from Phosphorus.

So far as the operations of this Department are concerned, there is none. The material, when ready for use, cannot be fired. Many years ago there was always a ,    certain amount of danger from poor mixing of the crude

phosphorus; now there is none. When it is used (and that now is not often), it is dissolved in bisulphide of carbon, and is then perfectly safe; but the Crown relies upon certain phosphorus preparations that are mixed with '    the pollard and which are quite safe as regards fire.

There is no doubt that some fires are caused by imperfect mixing by inexperienced persons. In this connexion, the services of the inspectors are always available to any one who desires information and education in the matter.

The cry so frequently made against the Department of causing fires, owes its origin in many instances to those who do not want the rabbit poisoned. Again, it is often raised by land-holders in certain of the timbered regions where the rainfall is heavy, and where there is great difficulty in getting a good burn outside the prescribed period. The laying of phosphorized baits may come in very handy at times in this connexion; for instance, in a certain forest in the State, there were always a number of fires coincident with the day advertised by the !<> al inspector for general poisoning. A great extent of this country was timbered Crown lands, and on these, especially adjacent to any settlement, a number of fires    «•

always started. With my concurrence, one summer, the inspector put nothing down but strychnined jam, using 2 cwt. in doing so.

The usual fires occurred on the day, and the local press had the usual paragraphs as to the sins of the Department in causing such! Comment is hardly necessary.

I merely content myself with venturing to think that many a settler has been able to have “ a good burn” in the prohibited seasons, and, at the same time, divert all suspicion by blaming the poisoning.

Complaints.

The Department welcomes legitimate complaints, which always receive prompt attention. Complaints of an anonymous nature are simply put aside. All complaints are treated as thoroughly confidential, and, under no circumstances, are ever divulged to other than the officer who deals with them. No inspector will infringe this practice.    <•

Method of Laying Poisons, Etc.

For any poisoning, undoubtedly the scratch or furrow is far and away the best. Nothing can equal it for certainty.    The attraction to the rabbit is irresistible.    '

It will always come to it to play and scratch on, and therefore must find the bait sooner or later. I can speak strongly in this connexion, as I was the discoverer—as far back as i88r—of the furrow system for laying

poison. It promptly became the recognised method, and it has been of simply incalculable benefit to the whole of Australia, and also, I understand, to New Zealand. But, when the country does not allow of the use of the plough or the sledge, the soil should be upturned by other means. I have noticed cases where the top of the ground has been smoothly taken off and the poison laid thereon. This is not advisable—the ground should be broken, not smoothed over. I think that the reason for this is as follows:—The breeding or “blind” burrow is, when the mother is absent, invariably closed up at the entrance and nicely smoothed over so as to resemble the natural surface of the land, and thus does not readily attract the attention of its ordinary enemies. ' I have never known other rabbits to interfere with these burrows; but, when the ground is turned over, as by a furrow or suchlike, it is quite a different matter. The attraction to all rabbits is there. As a rule, the poison is not so freely taken if laid too near the burrows. It is much more certain if put on their feeding and play ground; still, an exception can be made during the breeding seasons—baits can then be laid quite close so as to catch the very young rabbits that are too young to do anything but dodge about the mouth of the burrow. ,

The youngest of these, as long as they are old enough to nibble grass, will freely take apples, carrots, or pollard well sugared. There is a general belief that the only proper time for poisoning is during the summer months when the grass is dry. This is quite a mistake. There is no time of the year, whether summer or winter, wet or dry, plenty feed or no feed, or any kind of country, that rabbits cannot be got to take—and take well—some kind of poison. They will always take fruit or carrots, and, if pollard is well sweetened, will not refuse it either. It is merely a question of intelligent and judicious poisoning. In this connexion, it is interesting to mention my experience in the Western District of Victoria during the years 1880 to 1893, when I had control of a very large extent of country for the Department in connexion with rabbit destruction. In one winter, at the Mepunga depot alone, no less than three (3) tons of oats were phosphorized, and used with most deadly results. In those days, the mixing of phosphorus and grain was done very crudely, so much so, that when exposed to the heat of the sun the phosphorus soon disappeared.

Therefore, the grain was always put down coincident with the first autumnal rains, and was continued right through the winter, and well into the spring, ceasing with the advent of summer.

The work was extraordinarily successful. Many old residents can vouch tor this. The most successful results were obtained right in the middle of winter. Every one knows What the grass is like in this district during the above period.

Now that grain is prepared in such a way that it retains the phosphorus despite the summer heat, the idea has gradually grown that rabbits can only be poisoned in the dry weather, and this view has always been most consistently supported and emphasized year in and year out by those who do not want the rabbit poisoned under any circumstances, and more especially in the cold months when its body is more marketable and its fur good. No idea could be more fallacious. They can be poisoned from the 1st of January to the 31st December, and, as before stated, under any conditions of weather or feed. The evidence in this respect is simply incontrovertible, and I will be glad to show such to any one who so desires. Great care should, in all cases, be exercised as to cleanliness in preparing poisons and laying same. The rabbit is cleanly, and keen to detect anything suspicious in the food spread for it. Many failures are due to carelessness in this connexion.

Poisoning operations, however successful, should be followed up by other means. There is generally a percentage of the vermin left, which will quickly breed up again. These should be got at by digging out or fumigation. If any trapping is done—and I cannot recomment such—tire traps should be set in the mouths of the burrows, so that the breeding does and young ones are caught, and not on the feeding grounds or “buck heaps,” where the marketable rabbits are caught, while

the does and young are left in the burrows to keep up the supply. But it is undoubtedly best to destroy all burrows. No work is complete without this. If these are left, the house is always awaiting tenants, and be sure it will find occupants sooner or later. This action, coupled with the destruction of harbor, such as log fences, fallen timber, hedges, and other cover, and the *    erection of wire netting, is the crux of rabbit destruction,

and, if properly followed, must lead to success.

Dogs.

Under the Act, an inspector or his men cannot take dogs on to properties without the permission of the land-holder. The intention of this embargo is relative to the fact that dogs may do damage or worry stock. But their aid is of the greatest value in causing rabbits to take to the burrows, where they can be dug out or fumigated.

In all cases where an inspector has men on doing such work, it would be well for land-holders to allow him to take dogs on the land. Not only is their presence most valuable for the above reason, but it will be found that the work can be done more surely and at less cost, as otherwise the men have necessarily to use up a certain amount of their time in endeavouring to drive rabbits into the burrows—in rough country no easy task.

New Inventions and Methods.

For the information of any one with such, the practice is as follows:—In view of the very great number of these that are from time to time brought under notice, the Department, while it is desirous of giving every facility and encouragement in such cases, cannot undertake to incur any monetary obligations or expense; but, should any trial o.r experiment be held in any district, the inspector will always be prepared to give information and assistance in so far as finding any suitable place for the trial and being present at such.

B


5$ 18.

Proclamations

There is an impression in many quarters that it is necessary to proclaim districts as rabbit-infested, or in relation to the Wire-netting Act. No such proclamations are necessary, as both the Vermin Destruction Act, and An Act to Amend the Fences Act (No. 2155), apply to the whole of the State.

The Wombat.

As this animal in some localities does damage in forcing its way through wire-netting fences, and in destroying crops, a few' directions as to how to deal with it may be found useful. There are many ways of doing so, foremost of which is poison. There should be very little trouble to get them in this connexion. They are easily got to take apples or carrots, or potatoes, and, for that matter, many other kinds of fruit or vegetables; also green maize, or green stuff of any kind. There is no necessity to “ free-feed ’’—that is, to give them the food without any poison—as has to be done in educating rabbits. Cut apples, say, into four quarters, cut out of the quarter a small cork-shaped piece, insert some strychnine in the end of the hole, and replace the portion cut out. The wombat will bolt this, probably not tasting the strychnine. Pears and quinces will probably be just as good. They are particularly fond of carrots also, w'hieh can be treated like apples.

Maize, or other green stuff, can be treated as follows :—Slightly damp in a strong solution of sugar and W'ater, then sprinkle with arsenic at the rate of 1 lb. to every 10 lbs. of green stuff. The poisoned material can be put on the trails, or, better still, right alongside where    ,

they live, -whether in holes or under cliffs. The W'om.bat always leaves so much sign in tracks or digging that it is # a very simple matter to find out where they live. Any bushman can do this with ease. Fumigation with bisulphide of carbon, as used in the ordinary rabbit fumiga-tors, is also most deadly. The wombat is practically always at home in daylight, and therefore can easily be got at. It is a very slow breeder, and may be wholly

got rid of by any of the above means. It will also blunder into traps readily. I have known them completely

cleaned out by the strong gin traps that were formerly used for wild dogs.

Green sapling poles, with a noose at the end, that spring up and hold its victim partly or wholly suspended in mid-air, are also very deadly. This latter was the same as was used in trapping kangaroo or wallaby while making their way under fences or along tracks—the former for choice. The wombat is very plentiful away back from settlement, where it does no harm whatever— rather does good, as it tears up grass-tree, cutting rushes, and suchlike to get at the juicy, succulent ends, of which it is very fond. These could also be used with arsenic where the wombat is doing harm near settlements. It is anything but a hard animal to get rid of. Its skin is of no commercial value whatever. The reason, I understand, is owing to its being so tough that it cannot be worked by the fleshing knives of the tanner.

The following are the head-quarters and the names of

the inspectors :—

Alexandra : W. McNamara. Harrow : W. Quirk.

Ararat : j. F. Mahoney.    Heathcote : W. T. Bolton.

Bacchus Marsh: j. W. Tolmie. Hopetoun : E. F. Allin.

Belmont : W. J. Fraser.    Horsham : T. Boyle.

Birchip : W. S. McMonnies. Kerang : F. S. Smith.

Bruthen : G. Moore.    Korweinguboora : R. Elvis.


Buchan : A. E. Moon. Bullengarook East : W. Thom Charlton : A. J. Secombe. Cobden : J. J. Slattery.

Colac : A. McCallum. Coleraine : J. L. Wheeler. Corryong : H. L. Parslow Daylesford : A. Gerrans. Dederang : G. Graham. Diapur : C. C. Fraser. Dunolly : R. Marshall.

Drouin : A. E. Cox.

Echuca : H. J. Mackie.

Euroa : M. J. Delahenty. Foster : A. Canty. Glenthompson : F. Wright Goroke : W. C. Tally. Harcourt : J. Mackie.

Lake Boga : W. J. Moore. Lancefield : W. Marshall. Lilydale : L. G. Anderson. Linton : J. R. Steele.

Loch : P. A. Whitbourn. Mansfield : W. H. Willaton. Mildura : J. McLeod. Mornington : J. Keileher. Moyhu : H. Tally.

Murrayville : W. Thom, jun. Myamyn : L. H. Staff. Myrtleford : C. J. Whitbourn. North Mirboo : C. Mitchell. Numurkah : A. S. Marshall. Omeo : G. A. Parslow.

Ouyen : W. J. Steele. Pafeenham : M. Keileher.

Port Fairy : T. J. Treganowan

(p%l    IMt/VcLr


Pyramid Hill : G. R. Chant. Quambatook : A. H. Baylis. Rhyll : D. McVean. ' Rosedale : E. O’Connell.

Sale : E. J. Parslow.

Sea Lake : J. A. Cornford. Seymour : J. Baldwin. Springhurst : T. Delahenty. St. Arnaud : R. Wescott.

20

Stratford : A. D. Crosbie.

Swan Hill : C. McDonald. Swift’s Creek : A. J. Walker. Tatura : W. H. C. Hampton. Trafalgar : J. W. Turner. Warracknabeal : J. W. Thomas. White Hills : J. A. McCullough. Windermere : J. W. T. Anderson. Wodonga : F. F. Whitbourn.

By Authority • Albfrt .T Mtjieett. Government Printer. Melbourne.

1

   It is good all the year round, no matter how    *

plentiful the grass may be.

2

   It is cheap and simple.

3

   The rabbits are found dead near the furrows.

4

   The value of the skins will, in nearly all cases,

more than recoup the cost of the work.