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Buleste
2nd February 2009, 14:57
Be Vewy Vewy Qwiet:shhh:

A hill farmer had a cunning plan to rid his fields of a plague of rabbits.

Paul Coppen, 69, who supplies London's oldest restaurant with pedigree beef, was struggling to keep an army of rabbits from stripping his pastures bare.

So in an attempt to gain the upper hand, he camouflaged his vintage Massy Ferguson tractor as a cow - complete with a firing platform and a gunslit from which to blast the unwary bunnies.

He admitted the disguise - a black and white heifer painted on a wooden board fixed to the side of the vehicle - was not entirely foolproof.

He said: "One of my neighbours, Stan Mitchell, came up with the idea and helped me out, and I just went with it. I hoped the rabbits would ignore the fake cow, thinking it was just another member of the herd, thereby presenting a stationary target for the rifleman as I drive about the farm.

"A driver-cum-rifleman was cunningly camouflaged behind a picture of a tree above the cow. Maximum angle of fire was achieved by pointing the air-rifle through a horizontal slit above the cow, not unlike the firing positions in Second World War pillboxes.

"It has to be said that not all rabbits are entirely fooled. Whereas cattle obviously do move around, trees usually don't and that may be a problem."

Mr Coppen has farmed at White Close Hill, near Bowes in County Durham, since 1975. Beef from his herd of pedigree Belted Galloways - an ancient breed probably derived from Celtic stock - is supplied to Rules, of Covent Garden, London's oldest restaurant.

"I won't pretend this device is going to be the be all and end all of rabbit control - but it does seem to startle them somewhat and stops them from scampering away too quickly, which give us a chance to have a shot at them.

"Luckily, no cows have been accidentally shot so far and Granite Brain, the stock bull, has not displayed any amorous or belligerent intentions towards the glamorous heifer depicted on the side of the tractor.

Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit, Kill the wabbit, Kill the Wabbit!

Harrison
2nd February 2009, 18:26
The method we used to use was more effective.

Drive around the fields in a Renault Fuego with the glass sunroof taken out so that one of you could stand through the roof with a shotgun and blast the bunnies! It worked well because doing it at night with the cars lights on full beam startled the rabbits and they froze on the spot, giving you enough time to blast 'em!