The move to the Red traffic light, fire risk and changes to how farmers approach pest control will have bunnies throughout the region breathing a sigh of relief.
The combination of factors has led to the cancellation of the Alexandra Lions Club Easter Bunny Hunt.
The annual event creates a sizeable dent in the region’s pest population, with almost 12,000 rabbits shot last year.
Club secretary and Easter Bunny Hunt organiser Guy Harris said the decision to cancel was unanimous.
The club had intended to run it as a vaccine pass event in keeping with Covid-19 traffic light requirements. However, the shift to Red meant keeping within the 100-person limit was difficult.
The hunt attracted 190 to 220 people and once people left to their allocated properties, organisers would struggle to ensure the limit was adhered to, Mr Harris said.
The predicted fire risk at Easter was also heightened due to “phenomenal growth.”
“The fire risk that’s predicted for around Easter, we don’t want vehicles with hot exhausts setting off the grass we had two years ago.”
Many landowners spoken to by the club had indicated they were starting poisoning programmes to tackle the pests and the hunt would not have access to those properties during that time.
“It wasn’t really viable to run,” Mr Harris said.
The cancellation was a blow to the Lions Club as it followed news the 2022 Goldfields Cavalcade would not be going ahead.
The two events amounted to 95% of the club’s annual fundraising, with the hunt bringing in about $30,000.
“[The Easter Bunny Hunt] is one of our biggest earners and it’s the community that are the ones going to lose out,” he said.
“It feels bloody awful.”