A city official has confirmed that, if municipalities are allowed to reduce Iceland’s invasive rabbit population, the first method to be taken will be the use of “little rifles.”
Vísir spoke to Guðmundur B. Friðriksson, the office manager of the Environmental Quality Office for the City of Reykjavík, about the current plague of rabbits that have been wreaking havoc across south Iceland for almost four years now.
Rabbits are legally protected by Icelandic law, which means that a special exception would have to be granted to municipal authorities who want to reduce or exterminate them. When asked what measures would be taken if they were granted this exception, Guðmundur responded that they “would hunt them with firearms.” When asked to specify what kind of firearms, he replied, “They would be minor firearms. Little rifles.”
As reported, Iceland’s current rabbit population descends, for the most part, from pet rabbits which were released in the Elliðaárdal area of Reykjavík in 2010. From there, they have spread throughout south and southeast Iceland, doing damage to livestock feed and, in at least one instance, causing a three-car pile up when they bounded onto a highway.
The Icelandic Institute of Natural History has called for rabbits “to be completely exterminated or at least [to] have a very strict control over their population.”