Adjournment- Fox control
25th May 2017- Mr O'Sullivan- My adjournment matter tonight is for the Minister for Agriculture, and the action I am seeking from the minister is for her to better promote the fox bounty to hunters and farmers to assist in the control of fox numbers in regional Victoria. Foxes cause a considerable amount of damage, and the cost of that damage is extreme for farmers as a result of foxes. They have lambs that get attacked during lambing season, calves can get attacked when they are calving and native fauna is also in the regular diet of foxes. Lambs, when they are finally sold, can be sold for in excess of $100, so if you are getting a lot of lambs being killed by foxes, that can be financially very devastating to farmers. As well there is the anxiety that is caused to farmers when they have to go and deal with these little lambs that have had their noses eaten off by foxes. So the fox bounty is really positive in terms of controlling fox numbers.
In 2012 the coalition government program had 120 000 fox scalps collected and handed in. In 2017, under this government, we have had just 6700 fox scalps collected. The government stopped the program for a period of time. Thankfully they did reinstate the program, but in my opinion I do not think they have promoted it well enough, and I think there are farmers and hunters out there who probably do not even realise that the fox bounty program is up and running.
When the coalition was in government there were 22 collection sites around the state. Right now, in 2017, there are only seven sites around Victoria that are collecting fox scalps. So the action I seek from the Minister for Agriculture is to better promote the fox bounty and to open up more collection sites so farmers and hunters alike can go out and shoot foxes and collect their $10, which will do a lot to help farmers whose lambs are being attacked and a lot for the native fauna as well. That would be a good result — because the only good fox is a dead fox.