A proposal to gas hundreds of rabbits in a Mid Wales town has been branded inhumane by animal rights campaigners.
Welshpool Town Council said it was considering the move after months of failed attempts to restrict the numbers of rabbits damaging Maesydre playing fields.
The proposal has been submitted to Welshpool Town Council by its leisure and recreation committee and will be debated at its next full meeting on Wednesday.
But campaigners, contacted by concerned residents, have called for a stay of execution to consider alternatives and said they are monitoring the issue closely.
Fiona Pereira, of Animal Aid, said: "There is nothing humane about gassing massive numbers of animals to death. The amount of damage caused by rabbits is the result of those animals living their lives
"Is that really such a huge crime that they have to pay with their lives?
"One way to reduce rabbit numbers is to stop slaughtering animals that rely on them for food: foxes, stoats, weasels and mink."