More than 20,000 foxes in cross hairs

More than 20,000 foxes will be killed under a new fox bounty scheme which has been introduced as part of a targeted attack to reduce the impact of this pest on livestock and poultry.

The $220,000 Marshall Liberal Government program will provide a $10 payment made for each fox destroyed across South Australia to help cull the feral pest and further support farmers.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said a fox bounty has been a successful initiative interstate and would work well with the ongoing baiting program.

“Foxes cause significant economic losses to farmers by preying on newborn lambs, calves, kid goats and poultry,” Minister Basham said.

“Since they were introduced for recreational hunting in the mid-1800s, foxes have spread across most of Australia with the economic impact of the pest nationwide estimated at around $227.5 million per annum.

“We also know they are responsible for the ongoing decline of ground-nesting birds, small to medium sized mammals such as the greater bilby and reptiles.

“In keeping with similar practices in Victoria the bounty scheme would see a $10 payment made for each fox scalp collected. This will be another example of practical assistance from the Marshall Liberal Government to support farmers across South Australia.

“It builds on our highly successful wild dog bounty program and will see us work closely with Livestock SA and regional landscape boards to complement existing fox control programs.”

The program will be limited to claims from livestock and poultry producers, to ensure the funding goes to directly benefit farmers and prevent claims being made for foxes killed interstate.

Farmers can enter into their own arrangements with professional and recreational shooters.

Livestock SA Chief Executive Officer Andrew Curtis welcomed the fox bounty program.

“We are well aware that fox bounties are not a silver bullet to completely eliminate the impacts of foxes, but the funding support provided to livestock producers will help to lift the standard of our fox control programs,” Mr Curtis said.

The fox bounty will be available for two years, or until the funding runs out. It is expected scalps will be collected at specified locations, quarterly in conjunction with other industry meetings, workshops or field days.

A minimum of 10 scalps and a maximum of 100 scalps per property can be claimed at each collection day. Each property may claim up to a maximum of 300 scalps per year.

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