Central Otago bunnies can rest easy with the news the Great Easter Bunny Hunt has been cancelled. Organised by the Alexandra District Lions Club, the annual event attracts between 190 to 220 hunters from throughout the South Island and creates a sizeable dent in the region’s pest population – almost 12,000 rabbits were shot at the last event in 2021. It brings in about $30,000, funds which the Lions club uses to support community groups and initiatives. However, heightened fire risk, health and safety concerns, a change of land use and new management has led to a smaller number of properties being available for the shoot this year. Lions president Ron Lamb says In an unusual twist, many properties don’t have any rabbits. He says many farmers say there are no rabbits on their property as they’ve hired rabbiters and have got it under control.