FOX and wild dog bounty collections will resume in Victoria next week, but hunters will have mask up to claim their rewards.
Designated collection centres will operate across the state from 1 March in line with COVIDSafe requirements, starting in the north-east at Benalla, Broadford, Ovens, Mansfield, Tatura and Wodonga.
Collections close each summer, when hunters are encouraged to collect fox scalps and wild dog body parts on their properties, and to freeze or air dry them.
Agriculture Victoria biosecurity manager Jason Wishart said people could submit entire fox scalps for a $10 reward and entire wild dog body parts for a $120 reward during scheduled collection times.
“I urge hunters to refresh their knowledge about the terms and conditions to ensure they submit animal pieces covered by the bounty,” he said.
More than 874,000 fox scalps and 3900 wild dog body parts have been collected in Victoria since the fox and wild dog bounty was introduced in 2011.
“In 2020 alone, some 59,799 fox scalps and 417 wild dog body parts were collected from 1062 hunters.
“We achieved this last year despite reduced mobility and a temporary pause in collections due to COVIDSafe requirements,’ Mr Wishart said.
“Although the numbers are lower than previous years, it was still a tremendous effort by our Victorian community.
“Foxes and wild dogs require ongoing management by all private and public land managers and Agriculture Victoria supports an integrated approach with a range of practices,” he said.
Mr Wishart said the bounties offer an incentive to encourage community participation, but other techniques also are important to effectively manage the fox and wild dog challenge.
The Fox and Wild Dog Bounty program received $6.7 million in the Victorian Government’s 2020-21 Budget and will continue until 2024. The 2021 bounty collections will run until the end of October.
Hunters must comply with COVIDSafe requirements at collection centres by wearing a face mask inside or where they can’t physically distance. Electronic funds transfer is the preferred method of payment. Visit www.agriculture.vic.gov.au/bounty to find out more or call the Customer Service Centre on 136 186.
Source: Agriculture Victoria.