Bunnies in Kangaroo Point in the 1860s.

Rabbits were first introduced into Australia in 1788 by the First Fleet and bred for food. The story of how they became a pest is well known leading to construction of rabbit proof fences from 1893-1997.

Sketch map showing Rabbit Board districts and rabbit proof fences, Queensland, May 1899. (Qld Surveyor General’s Office).

According to a Letter to the Editor written by “Kangarooster” of 4 January 1919 in The Courier, it was common for boys to keep pet rabbits in their yards in the 1860s. ‘Kangarooster” writes that he lived in a ‘ five-acre tea-tree paddock, having a frontage to Main Street, near the present Pineapple Hotel. Here, when a lad, he enclosed about half an acre with a close-paling fence, and within this area had between fifty and sixty rabbits, accommodated in weather-proof hutches…’

When an Act was passed by the Queensland Parliament in 1880 making it an offence to keep live rabbits, a few fathers paid the fine rather than deprive their sons of what, to them, had been a pleasurable and, in some cases, a profitable hobby.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.