Rabbits are being gassed to death by the council after golfers complained about tripping over their holes.

Brighton and Hove City Council bosses said the situation at Waterhall was so bad that the golf course had become a “hazard” and in parts unplayable.

They claimed they had no choice but to “euthanize” the fast-breeding vermin by gassing them in their warrens.

A council spokeswoman said the action was a “last resort”.

She added: “Over the past few years the number of rabbits burrowing on the Waterhall golf course has increased dramatically.

"This has caused a huge amount of damage. The increasing number of rabbit holes has made the area extremely hazardous for golfers, dog walkers and other users and parts of the course are now virtually unplayable.

“Following advice from pest control specialists, the council has reluctantly taken the decision to euthanize the rabbits. This is a last resort, but the council has a duty to provide good quality facilities and to minimise any risks to those using them.

“The procedure, the safest and most humane way to cull rabbits, will be carried out by specialists over the next few weeks. All affected areas have been cordoned off.”