Pest control network recognised by UN

Victoria's rabbit control program recognised by the UN

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PRESTIGIOUS AWARD: The State government's Victorian Rabbit Action Network has been recognised by the United Nations.

PRESTIGIOUS AWARD: The State government's Victorian Rabbit Action Network has been recognised by the United Nations.

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Victoria's long-term, collaborative approach to rabbit control wins UN award

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The State government's Victorian Rabbit Action Network has been recognised with a prestigious United Nations Public Service award.

Agriculture minister Jaclyn Symes said the program, delivered by Agriculture Victoria, would receive an award for 'delivering more inclusive and equitable services' on United Nations Public Service Day.

"Congratulations to Agriculture Victoria and the Victorian Rabbit Action Network on this prestigious award, showing that our agricultural sector is among the most innovative and successful in the world," Ms Symes said.

"It's inspiring to see a strong partnership between government and community tackling such a complex issue that affects both our agriculture sector and the broader environment.

"Rabbits don't follow fence lines and boundaries, and neither does the Victorian Rabbit Action Network - we're making sure community, industry and government work effectively together to develop long-term, sustainable approaches and solutions."

The program has taken a long-term, collaborative approach across generations, right across the state, to manage one of Victoria's most invasive species, the European rabbit.

Rabbit Action Network community members Gerald Leach and Dr. Kathryn Rodden, along with Agriculture Victoria program manager Michael Reid will travel to Baku, Azerbaijan, this week to accept the award at a ceremony on UN Public Service Day.

The award was contested by programs from Europe, the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand

Victoria's program was successful for bringing together a diverse range of perspectives from those affected by rabbits - including land managers, farmers, scientists, government officials and the wider community.

Since its establishment, the network has reached 6,000 people, covering more than 2.5 million hectares of public and private land. By the end of 2019, it is expected to have engaged 10,000 people.

Ms Symes said the network's strength was providing a forum for individuals to highlight their key concerns, addressing the complex nature of the rabbit problem, and identifying location and community-specific solutions.

Agriculture Victoria is now looking at how this model of shared decision-making and responsibility can be applied to managing other invasive species and issues across the state.

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