Hunters are busy culling fox menace

Fox scalps handed in at Wodonga recently.
Fox scalps handed in at Wodonga recently.

MORE than 13,000 fox scalps have been surrendered to the Department of Environment and Primary Industries collection centre in Wodonga since the Victorian government’s bounty was introduced less than three years ago.

There have been 443 scalps cashed in recently, which takes the Wodonga total to 13,781, along with 308 wild dog scalps.

The number of foxes killed and handed in across the state has passed 300,000.

A hunter from Portland was recently credited with handing in the 300,000th scalp and it was part of a consigment of 261 he cashed in.

The collection centre in Wodonga leads the way for the most fox and dog scalps in the North East region.

There have been 13,231 fox scalps handed in at Benalla, 3832 at Mansfield along with 96 wild dogs and 2542 foxes at Ovens combined with 188 wild dogs.

More than $3 million has been paid out on the fox bounty at $10 per scalp, with $100 paid for each of 1416 dog scalps handed in.

Agriculture and Food Security Minister Peter Walsh said the government understood the financial and emotional impacts foxes and wild dogs had on producers.

“We are committed to helping reduce their numbers,” Mr Walsh said.

“Our fox and wild dog bounty is making a real difference for producers, with 300,000 fewer foxes now roaming Victoria’s landscape.

“This is compared with the former Labor government’s Fox Stop program, which eradicated just 20,034 foxes in three years.

“The bounty not only aims to compensate hunters for their efforts, but also recognises their important contribution to controlling these vicious and damaging pests.

“The only good fox is a dead fox.”

Mr Walsh said the government was committed to an integrated approach to fox and wild dog control, which included a combination of bait- ing, trapping and shooting.

“The government is taking real action to control fox numbers and build stronger farming communities,” he said.