September 30, 2011
Victorian farmers and hunters will be rewarded for helping to curb fox and wild dog numbers with the Victorian Coalition Government re-introducing a bounty from tomorrow (Saturday, October 1, 2011).
The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has welcomed the announcement which will see rewards of $10 for fox scalps and $50 for wild dog skins.
Mr Chester said the program is the latest in a series of measures being introduced by the State Government to help tackle rising numbers of foxes and wild dogs.
“Last time the bounty was trialled in 2003 there were 198,000 foxes killed,” Mr Chester said.
“The program is a long-term commitment to reduce the numbers of foxes and wild dogs by rewarding farmers and hunters for the active role they play in the control of feral animals.”
To collect the reward on foxes an entire fox scalp, including both ears and the skin surrounding the eyes and the nose in an air-dried, fresh or frozen condition must be submitted.
For wild dogs, a single piece of skin including the skin and fur running from the snout, including the ears, along the animal’s back and the tail is required.
Local Department of Primary Industries (DPI) collection points are Bairnsdale, Maffra (foxes and wild dogs) and Yarram (foxes only). Specialist DPI staff will visit each location monthly in order to collect the skins and pay the bounty. Collections begin in Bairnsdale on November 1 and in Maffra and Yarram on November 2.
Any Victorian can collect the fox bounty, however only landholders in designated wild dog control areas and financial members of the Sporting Shooters Association Victoria, Field and Game Australia and the Australian Deer Association will be eligible for the wild dog bounty.
In addition to the bounty, the Victorian Coalition Government has committed to introducing aerial baiting; extending trap checking hours from 24 to 72; and reviewing trap sizes and buffer zones to reduce wild dog numbers. The aerial baiting program will begin in May 2012 with local wild dog committees to be restructured in the meantime to allow for greater local input and the development of local area plans.
Mr Chester has been advocating for greater Federal Government resources to combat wild dogs. His motion to highlight the need for a nationally consistent approach to effective wild dog control was recently passed by Federal Parliament.
“There are many local farmers deeply concerned by the ongoing damage caused by wild dogs,” Mr Chester said.
“I know of some that are contemplating whether to continue farming in some areas because they are unable to continue suffering such severe stock losses.”
Full details of the Victorian Fox and Wild Dog Bounty, including terms and conditions and monthly collection times, are available at www.dpi.vic.gov.au