Time to cash in the pelts and scalps

THE Victorian government will resume its fox and wild-dog bounty collections today.

More than 243,000 fox scalps and 1000 wild dog pieces have been handed in since the government bounty started.

It was designed to give hunters some compensation for their efforts and assist pest management.

Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh said fox scalps and dog pieces could be delivered to designated collection points from today.

“Foxes and wild dogs prey on native fauna and vulnerable livestock, particularly newborn lambs and calves, and can have devastating impacts on livestock owners,” Mr Walsh said.

“As I have said before, the only good fox is a dead fox.

“The bounty continues to play an important role in the government’s integrated approach to fox and wild-dog control.

“It is done in combination with other control methods such as trapping and ground baiting.”

More than $2.5 million has been paid out under the bounty from October 2011 until last October for the 243,000 fox scalps and 1000 wild-dog pelts.

“The government is committed to helping our state’s farmers control these vicious pests, unlike the former Labor government’s Fox Stop program which only eradicated 20,034 foxes in three years,” Mr Walsh said.

The collection centres in the North East are at Wodonga, Ovens and Mansfield.

“The Department of Environment and Primary Industries is expecting a large number of hunters during the first few months of collections,” Mr Walsh said.

“Autumn is usually the peak fox-hunting season as the young or displaced foxes move to find new territories.

The member for Benalla, Bill Sykes, yesterday welcomed the resumption of bounty collections on foxes and wild dogs.

Dr Sykes said the government intended to hold workshops seeking input into methods of wild-dog management.

He said local wild-dog action plans would be formulated for each of the 15 management zones in the North East and East Gippsland.

“A series of community workshops will be held during the autumn to seek input into the development of new management plans,” he said.

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