A controversial method of killing rabbits has been abandoned by Hobsons Bay council.

As reported by Star Weekly in March, Altona wildlife rescuer Grace Garbowski condemned the use of pindone rabbit baiting, saying it caused an agonising death.

The council, which previously used pindone, this month herded rabbits into nets and had the animals put down more humanely, using an RSPCA-endorsed technique.

The rabbits were culled from Sandy Point Reserve, Newport, because they were damaging vegetation and parkland.

Ms Garbowski said at the weekend: “RSPCA, the Animal Justice Party and liberation organisations are in strong opposition to pindone baiting, stating that due to the prolonged, extensive and painful suffering of the animals … it is considered inhumane and unacceptable.”

RSPCA spokeswoman Meagan Patroni confirmed her organisation also opposed pindone baiting.

Hobsons Bay director Sherry Clarke said due to recent concerns about the impact of pindone, the council had made a conscious effort to reduce its use. “But as other methods of rabbit control are not as effective as pindone, we may need to use pindone in the future,” she said.

Melbourne Water’s Cameron Howie said his organisation would continue to use pindone baiting in Hobsons Bay.