Making More from Sheep Australian Wool Innovation Limited Meat & Livestock Australia
MODULE 5: Protect Your Farm's Natural Assets
Tool 5.7
Previous Index Next

A brief analysis of the range of fox control options

Control option
When best to use
Advantages
Disadvantages

Aerial 1080 baiting

Recommended for large, sparsely populated areas that are remotely located and inaccessible by vehicles.

Lethal baiting is considered to be the most effective method currently available.
Foxes are amongst the most sensitive species to the effects of 1080.
Cost effective over large areas.

Risk to non-target species.
No way to assess number of baits taken.
Risk to trappers' dogs.
Foxes tend to be bait shy.
Not suited near urban/residential areas.

Ground 1080 baiting

Ground baiting is the preferred method on rural properties or national parks and forestry estates that are accessible by road.

Lethal baiting is considered to be the most effective method currently available.
Foxes are amongst the most sensitive species to the effects of 1080.
Cost effective over large areas.
Untaken baits and fox carcasses can be collected.

Risk to non-target species, including farm dogs.
Not suited near urban/residential areas.

Feralmone™ is a product developed by AWI (stink in a can!) that is sprayed on baits and increases their attractiveness to foxes and wild dogs. Feralmone™ is available from leading rural merchants and agencies responsible for fox and wild dog control programs.

Den fumigation with CO2

Fumigation should be carried out only when active dens containing young cubs more than 4 weeks old can be located. This will usually be around August to October.

Best suited to localised fox problems such as active dens within lambing paddocks or near poultry.
Relatively humane.
Little risk to non-target species.
Not affected by weather conditions.

Time-consuming and labour intensive.
Inefficient method for large-scale fox control.
Very young foxes are relatively resistant to elevated CO2 levels.
CO2 is highly toxic to humans.

Shooting

Shooting is often used prior to lambing season and as an adjunct to other control methods.

Good supplement to other control measures.
Suitable when fox numbers don't justify a more comprehensive approach.
Little risk to non-target species.

Labour intensive – skilled operators with the appropriate licences are needed.
Not suited for large scale fox control.
Preferentially targets young, non-breeding foxes.
Not suitable for areas of dense scrub or near urban areas.

Trapping (soft jaw traps or cage traps)

Where poison baiting is unacceptable and other methods cannot be used, e.g. semi-rural and urban/residential areas.

Useful for the control of nuisance animals.
Non-target species can be easily released.

Not effective as a general fox control method on farm.
Time consuming and labour intensive.

 

Purchase 1080 and other pest animal baits from the following state agencies and organisations:

  • Victoria: From 1 January 2008 bait users in Victoria can purchase 1080 bait products from accredited retailers or authorised licensed pest control operators. To purchase 1080 pest animal baits under this new system, you are required to complete a 1080 training course. Contact the Victorian DPI for more information.
  • Western Australia: Trained landholders can purchase bait products containing 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate) after they have obtained Baiting Approval from an authorised officer of the Department of Agriculture and Food.
  • South Australia: NRM Board officers are authorised to supply poisoned bait in appropriate situations.
  • Tasmania: Pest animal baits can only be supplied by “Competent” DPIWE Wild Animal Management Officers or by “Competent” Fox Task Force Officers. Users must hold an “Authority to Purchase, Possess and Use 1080” issued by a DPIWE “Competent Officer”.
  • Queensland: Pest control baits to assist in the management of animal pests are available for purchase from the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Water.
  • NSW: Pest control baits to assist in the management of animal pests are available for purchase through NSW Livestock Health and Pest Authorities.

Other useful references and links

The PestSmart Toolkit (www.feral.org.au/pestsmart/) provides information and guidance on best-practice invasive animal management on several key vertebrate pest species including rabbits, wild dogs, foxes and feral pigs. Information is provided as fact sheets, case-studies, technical manuals and research reports. Also, view the PestSmart YouTube Channel (www.youtube.com/PestSmart/) for video clips on best practice control methods for pest animal management.

Review the fox control regulations relevant to your states at: