BENDIGO has topped the amount of fox scalps handed into the Victorian government with more than 19,700 in the past 15 months.
More than 133,000 fox and 400 wild dog pelts were handed in statewide, with the total bounties paid exceeding $1.3 million. The fox bounty paid is set at $10 per scalp and the wild dog bounty at $50.
A Department of Primary Industries spokeswoman attributed Bendigo’s high figure to the large amount of hunters in the region, rather than a high number of foxes.
“Bendigo is a large population centre, and by virtue of its size and location in central regional Victoria there is most likely a higher number of hunters living within travelling distance of the collection centre there,” she said.
“The relatively high number of scalps handed into the collection centre at Bendigo does not indicate that the immediate area has more foxes than other parts of Victoria.”
Agriculture and food security minister Peter Walsh said the bounty worked with the government’s other strategies to reduce the fox population including trapping and ground baiting.
“The only good fox is a dead fox so the removal of more than 133,000 of these destructive pests from Victoria’s landscape is great news,” he said. “The efforts of farmers and hunters who are supporting the bounty must be recognised.”
The fox and wild dog bounty will be suspended from January 1 and will reopen on February 28.
“This won’t restrict hunters’ ability to continue hunting, as they can still hunt and collect eligible fox and wild dog body parts,” Mr Walsh said.