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Reinstate fox tail bounty now – Jasper

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The Nationals Member for Murray Valley, Ken Jasper, today called for the immediate reinstatement of the highly successful fox tail bounty program.

Mr Jasper said the announcement by Victorian Agriculture Minister, Bob Cameron, of a $2500 cash prize ballot for shooters hunting foxes on private land, indicates a clear recognition by the Government that the current baiting program simply isn’t enough.

Instead of a one-off financial reward for a member of a shooting organisation, Victorian farmers need a coordinated eradication program, incorporating the reintroduction of the $10 fox tail bounty running simultaneously with other fox control methods, including 1080 baits, he said.

The Minister’s announcement makes it clear that baiting alone is simply not sufficient to effectively control this destructive feral pest and a concerted two-pronged attack is needed.

The fox tail bounty, dumped by the Government in 2003, was effective, with some 180,000 fox tails being handed in between July 2002 and August 2003.

Despite claims by the Minister and his Department that the bounty scheme was ineffective and did not focus fox control on priority locations, these tails represented 180,000 foxes which were not going to have the opportunity to attack Victorian lambs, chickens or native fauna and birdlife.

In representations to me, primary producers and fox hunters have indicated that large scale, group control programs incorporating baiting and a bounty, have a proven impact on fox numbers, Mr Jasper said.

Fox attacks on young lambs continue to have a devastating effect on lamb producers across Victoria, confirming the need for an aggressive control program. The bounty program is proven, simple and effective, he added.

Farmers need an effective fox control strategy, utilising a bounty scheme and a baiting program, using their tried and true baiting methods, to ensure their economic viability, instead of some ill-considered prize stunt, Mr Jasper concluded.


Written by Greg Naylor

26 April 2006 at 10:10 pm

Posted in media release

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