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NSW introduces pest control order for foxes for first time

Sheep Central, December 8, 2014
NSW producers say biannual fox baiting works. Image: Gary Tate.

Foxes are now officially a pest in NSW

New South Wales’ new pest control order for foxes will mean more options for co-ordinated programs at the local level, the state’s Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, said today.

Ms Hodgkinson announced that a pest control order for foxes has been introduced for the first time in NSW.

“The Local Land Services (European Red Fox) Pest Control Order 2014 will be gazetted, meaning foxes are now a declared pest species in this state.

“The introduction of the pest control order brings NSW into line with all other states in Australia in ensuring that foxes must be controlled by landholders on their properties,” she said.

“Importantly, the pest control order will allow for additional options for coordinated control, meaning Local Land Services can more effectively target foxes in localised campaigns.”

Fox pet owners will need a permit

The pest control order will also mean no newly acquired foxes will be allowed to be kept in captivity, and those people that currently keep foxes in captivity will be required to apply for a permit from Local Land Services, she said.

“Foxes are not companion animals – this pest control order sends the clear message that they are pests, not pets.”

Ms Hodgkinson said the draft pest control order was released for public comment in October, with 1785 submissions received, the majority of which were in favour.

“All issues raised in the submissions were carefully considered before a final decision was reached.

“It is clear that this pest control order will benefit landholders and the wider community by improving the coordinated control of this invasive predator.”

Foxes cost Australia $227.5 million annually

Ms Hodgkinson said with the total annual cost of foxes to Australia’s environment and economy estimated to be $227.5 million, the pest control order will assist in the coordination of successful community-wide fox control programs.

“Foxes cause extensive damage for livestock producers, with studies showing lamb losses to fox predation can be as high as 30 percent.”

The pest control order can be viewed at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/biosecurity

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