FOX baiting will start in state forests across central Victoria to reduce attacks on native animals and livestock.
Beginning May 21, Forest Fire Management Victoria will be laying baits in Costerfield State Forest, Myers Flat State Forest and One Eye State Forest.
Senior forest management and roading officer Adrian Parker said the fox baiting program will focus on the boundaries between public and private land.
“Foxes are a pest animal in Australia, attacking livestock and wildlife, carrying disease and increasing the spread of weeds in our state forests,” Mr Parker said.
“A number of 1080 poison shelf-stable baits will be buried in bait stations according to Victorian directions for use of 1080 products and manufacturer’s guidelines to reduce the risk of non-target species taking them.
“The 1080 poison works on the central nervous system of the fox, leading to unconsciousness and eventual death.’’
However, dead foxes pose no threat to other species because the poison is harmless once metabolised.
“We ask nearby landholders to ensure their dogs and other pets are confined to their property during the baiting period,’’ Mr Parker said.
“Signs have been placed at entrances to the areas that are part of the program. We urge pet owners to take note of the signs and keep dogs on leash or muzzled while they are being walked in or near baited areas.’’
The baits will be buried and monitored regularly for four weeks and replaced if taken during the baiting period.
Adjoining neighbours have been notified directly by mail to ensure those with dogs are able to carry out precautionary action such as fitting muzzles before entering the forests for walks.
This program is complemented by the efforts of adjoining landholders and the Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia.