Countdown begins for “Red Card for the Red Fox”

Friday, 13th February 2009

Community support is growing for next month’s “Red Card for the Red Fox” baiting program. The community-based pest control program encourages the baiting and shooting of foxes, cats and rabbits during the month of March. Coordinator Sally Thomson says landcare groups, local government, sporting associations and farmers are getting on board. “At the moment we have 47 groups from across the agricultural region joining forces, and we look forward to more coming on board,” Sally Thomson said. The month of March has been chosen as farmers have time in their schedules to bait and shoot, and foxes and rabbit food demands are high. The Department of Agriculture and Food WA also plays an important role in authorising the use of 1080 baits and ensuring landholders are accredited in the safe handling of the naturally derived poison. DAFWA Bio-security Officers deliver the training, which can take place in person, at organised workshops or via correspondence and remains valid for three years. “The bait factory has been flat out and is aiming to produce 30,000 dried kangaroo meat baits to cover the March demand,” Sally Thomson said. “Rabbit baits require a much simpler process and there are plenty of the 1080 ready-to-lay oats available,” she said. “The community fox-shoots have been popular with groups, although it’s important to realise that less than 20 percent of the fox population ever get under the spotlight. “The 1080 baiting component of the programme is essential if we are to have a real impact on numbers.” The program is supported by the Avon Catchment Council, the South West Catchments Council and an increasing number of community Landcare groups and Local Governments across the agricultural region. More information: Sally Thomson, program coordinator 9861 2222.