Otway Coast Committee

Committed to Sustainable Management

30th May 2013 - Pindone Rabbit Baiting Program

The Foreshore Committee in partnership with the Apollo Bay Golf Club will shortly start a baiting program to reduce the large numbers of rabbits currently in and around the golf club and the foreshore.  We will be employing Barongarook Weed & Vermin Control P/L to lay 'Pindone' carrot baits on 3 successive occasions over a 10 day period.  Bait stations will be clearly signed and it is expected that, with Barongarook's extensive knowledge of using Pindone, little residue will be left each morning from the previous nights baiting.  For the communities benefit below is information on Pindone:

PINDONE CARROT BAIT

• Highly effective for rabbit control

• Convenient and safe to use

• Degradable and non-cumulative

• Vitamin K1 is an effective antidote

• Reduced risk of secondary poisoning to dogs (compared with 1080 poison)

• Dyed green to reduce risk to birds which prefer red or yellow food

• Low-dose strategy reduces risks to wildlife

• Highly palatable to rabbits

Why Pindone is used for rabbit control

• Pindone is a "first-generation" anticoagulant poison, and works by blocking the blood clotting system in the animal.

• Rabbits are more susceptible to Pindone than many other species; however, caution should always be used when applying baits so that no other animals, including stock or wildlife, have direct access to bait.

• Pindone is used for rabbit control because it has a shorter half-life in the body than second-generation anticoagulant poisons such as those used in modern rodent baits.  This is an advantage since the poison is cleared quickly from any non-target animal which accidentally receives a small exposure.

• Pindone has a delayed action and, unlike some quick-acting poisons, there is an effective antidote (Vitamin K1) should it be needed.

How Pindone works

Pindone works by blocking the enzyme responsible for recycling vitamin K in the liver.

Vitamin K is crucial to the blood clotting system. When blood clots, vitamin K is converted from an active form to an inactive form. As the blood passes through the liver, specific enzymes convert the inactive vitamin K to active vitamin K.

Pindone, like other anticoagulant poisons, stops this process by blocking the enzymes in the liver from converting the inactive to active vitamin K.  As the reserves of active vitamin K are depleted, the animal dies from a failure of its blood clotting system.

As a first generation anticoagulant, Pindone has a short half-life.  This means that the poison breaks down quickly in the animal. To ensure a rabbit's vitamin K reserves are depleted, they must have repeated doses of the poison, three to four days apart.

The use of such a weak poison is an advantage should non target animals accidentally receive a dose, as the poison will quickly be cleared from their system.

The antidote for Pindone poisoning is active vitamin K which is available from vets either as an injection or as a tablet.

Environmental safety and residues

The sodium salt of Pindone used in RABBAIT® degrades gradually in water, leaving no long-term contamination of the environment. This is the preferred chemical for controlling rabbits in semi-urban situations or around farm buildings. Because the rabbits continue to eat the bait before the poison depletes their Vitamin K reserves, most bait is consumed by the target animals leaving little or no bait residues in the control area.

The symptoms of Pindone poisoning are excess salivation, vomiting, bloody fluid in the mouth, blood in the faeces and a progressive general weakening.

It is extremely difficult for a dog to eat enough poisoned rabbits to take a toxic dose of Pindone. However, a dog that eats the bait may be poisoned. A cat would need to eat most of a dead rabbit each day for several days to be poisoned.

In the event of a domestic animal showing symptoms of Pindone poisoning, an antidote is available from most veterinarians. It consists of an injection of Vitamin K, (1mg/kg live weight) which counteracts the effects of Pindone in the body by increasing the blood clotting abilities.

If a human is suspected of eating poisoned bait, contact the Poisons Information Service (Phone 131 126) or a doctor.

We have advised the following veterinarians, who regularly visit Apollo Bay, of the upcoming program and have asked that adequate antidote be kept on hand;

Apollo Bay Veterinary Clinic (03) 5237 7971, AH (03) 5231 3375

Rhodes Veterinary Clinic (03) 5232 2111

All bait 'stations' will be well signed and as noted, it is expected that little residue will be left from the previous night.