Farmers Call for Fox Bounty Increase
Farmers and politicians are calling for an increase to the current fox bountry in Victoria as hunter numbers increase and bounty claims dip. Farmers claim there are more foxes than ever.
Victoria is the only state in Australia to have its own fox bounty program.
Both the Victorian Farmers Federation livestock group and the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party have called on the State Government to raise the bounty in line with other indexed government fees and charges.
Applying the Reserve Bank’s inflation calculator the $10 bounty would be worth almost $13 today.
The Weekly Times reported VFF Livestock Group wild dog and fox spokesman Peter Star said it was time for the Government to seriously consider raising the bounty.
Victorian Shooters, Fishers and Farmers MP Daniel Young said raising the bounty would go a long way towards boosting the incentive to shoot foxes.
“People certainly aren’t claiming there are fewer foxes out there,” Mr Young said.
“There are more than ever out there.”
In contrast to the fox bounty, past governments have progressively increased the wild dog bounty, from $50 to $100 in 2013. Current Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford raised it to $120 last year.
A Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources spokeswoman said: “Collection of fox scalps during 2016-17 and the first period of 2017-18 were lower than the long-term average.
“This has been attributed to extended wet and warm periods over much of the state, leading to less favourable conditions for hunting and reduced hunting effort.”
Ms Pulford made no promise to increase the bounty, simply stating: “Our Government remains committed to a fox bounty and is always open to making improvements to the program if needed.”