A new fox bounty will be introduced in South Australia in an atempt to reduce the impact they are having on livestock and poultry across the state.
The $220,000 state 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.
A person can claim a minimum of 10 scalps and maximum of 100 scalps per bounty collection, with a maximum claim of 300 scalps per property each year.
A scalp is defined as the fox ears and face.
Sky News reported the scheme was praised by Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister David Basha who said it came off the back of a successful program in Victoria and a similar one for targeting wild dogs in SA.
“Foxes cause significant economic losses to farmers by preying on newborn lambs, calves, kid goats and poultry,” he said.
“Since they were introduced … 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.”
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.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said a fox bounty had 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.
“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.