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Wild dog bounty doubled

The Victorian Government has decided to double the wild dog bounty as news of the success of the fox and dog bounty is announced.

January 15, 2013 4:10am

More than 133000 fox scalps and 400 wild dog pelts had been handed in by the end of December to underscore what Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh called the ‘‘resounding success’’ of the Victorian Government’s ongoing fox and wild dog bounty.

The Victorian Coalition Government is doubling its bounty on wild dog pelts from $50 to $100 to provide additional incentive for hunters to shoot the destructive pests.

Mr Walsh said the Coalition Government recognised the devastating impact wild dogs had on livestock and the significance of the problems they caused for farmers, particularly in North East Victoria and Gippsland.

‘‘The vicious and extremely difficult to hunt pests prey on vulnerable livestock, particularly newborn lambs and calves, wandering mostly North East Victoria and Gippsland in search of their next meal,” Mr Walsh said.

‘‘Over 15 months, collection centres have received more than 133000 fox scalps and 400 wild dog pelts, and the total of bounties paid now exceeds $1.3million,’’ Mr Walsh said.

‘‘These collection figures show that the bounty continues to play an important role in the government’s integrated approach to fox and wild dog control, in combination with other control methods such as trapping and ground baiting.

‘‘The efforts of farmers and hunters who are supporting the bounty must be recognised, and the Victoria Coalition is most appreciative of their participation.’’

The fox and wild dog bounty will continue over summer with some small changes to the collection schedule in regards to opening hours and frequency of collection days.

‘‘The government is conscious of ensuring administration costs related to the bounty are kept as low as possible, to enable the maximum amount of money to be returned directly to hunters,’’ Mr Walsh said.

‘‘Applications for bounty over summer are traditionally at lower levels, so collections will be suspended between January 1 and February 28, 2013.

‘‘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 collection centres in Gippsland were receiving lower numbers than some other areas of the state, so collections in the region would align with hunter demand and occur every eight weeks instead of every four weeks.

‘‘These changes are all about operating the bounty as efficiently and effectively as possible,’’ Mr Walsh said.

‘‘Keeping administrative costs to a minimum will maximise the number of Victorian farmers and hunters who benefit while also helping to reduce the devastating impact foxes and wild dogs have on livestock and wildlife.’’

The fox bounty is $10/scalp, and the wild dog bounty $50/skin.

Shooters participating in the bounty are advised to check the amended details for collection days and opening hours over summer at www.dpi.vic.gov.au/bounty

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