The Victorian Government’s fox and wild dog bounty has reached its first anniversary, with almost 117,000 scalps handed in since 1 October last year.
Gippsland East farmers and shooters contributed to the Coalition Government’s initiative with over 2,200 fox scalps and wild dog skins collected, bringing obvious benefits to the farming community in our region.
Bairnsdale’s collection centre had the most wild dog skins collected in the State with Omeo farmer Russell Foster collecting 37 skins, being the most by an individual.
“This highlights the significant wild dog issue facing our livestock farmers and Russell and others should be congratulated for their efforts in helping to control the wild dog problem in the Omeo region”, said Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull.
Foxes and wild dogs are a significant problem for livestock farmers so it’s good to know there are nearly 117,000 less roaming Victorian land unable to terrorise lambs and calves.
While the bounty might not cover all the hunter’s costs, it does recognise their efforts and offers an incentive for more to take part in controlling foxes and wild dogs.
Agriculture and Food Security Minister Peter Walsh said the former Labor Government’s ad-hoc Fox Stop program only managed to eradicate 20,000 foxes over three years.
The Coalition Government’s bounty exceeded the total Fox Stop figures in less than five months, Mr Walsh said.
“We have set a bounty at $10 per fox and $50 per wild dog, with more than $1.17 million flowing into hunters’ pockets in the first year.”
“Providing a bounty for wild dog skins as well as fox scalps complemented the Coalition Government’s wild dog control programs.”
“Effective wild dog control requires a combination of measures such as baiting, trapping and shooting,” Mr Walsh said.
“The Commonwealth Government has stalled our application for aerial baiting this year, so we have acted on advice from the Wild Dog Control Advisory Committee to use funds for extra ground baiting in areas that have not previously been baited.”
“However, we have not given up on aerial baiting and will continue to pursue our application with the Commonwealth.”
For collection centre opening times and full details of the terms and conditions for the fox and wild dog bounty, go to www.dpi.vic.gov.au/bounty or contact the Department of Primary Industries Customer Service Centre on 136 186.