Fox baiting program - autumn 2024

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Pet owners are advised to keep their cats and dogs well clear of baited areas as the Warrnambool City Council continues its fight against foxes.

Bait will be laid in scrubland at Pickering Point, behind the skate park, sections of Lake Pertobe and areas west of Thunder Point.

SEE THE FOX BAITING MAP

The baiting program will run from April 22 until May 20, with pets banned from all baited areas until June 17. 

Warrnambool Director City Infrastructure David Leahy said that fox baiting was carried out to help protect native wildlife, but it was important that pet owners were aware of the baited areas.

“Pickering Point and Lake Pertobe in particular have a year-round ban on dogs in any case, but we want every pet owner in Warrnambool to be aware of the baited areas and to do what they can to keep their pets clear of them,” he said.

“As well as the map on our website, all baited sites have physical signs warning people of the dangers.”

Mr Leahy said that the poison used, PAPP, has an antidote, but it needs to be administered by a vet quickly.

“If you notice your pet is lethargic, has loss of limb function, blue discolouration of the tongue and gums, or any other uncharacteristic activity, and you believe it may have been in a baited area, please take it to a vet that carries the antidote immediately. The window of time between the pet eating the bait and the antidote being effective is only about an hour.

“Bait will be buried to help protect birds and deployed away from paths. It will also be tracked via GPS to allow for removal at the end of the program.

“The risk of secondary poisoning is also practically non-existent.”

In Warrnambool, the following vets carry the necessary antidote:
-    The Vet Group Wollaston, at 59 Mortlake Road Warrnambool – Phone 5561 6911
-    The Warrnambool Veterinary Clinic, at 514 Raglan Parade – Phone 5559 0222

After expanding its fox baiting program in 2023, Council will continue with a May-June as well as a September-October baiting program.

“The aim is to target foxes both before and after their winter dormancy,” Mr Leahy said.

“The areas where we will be baiting are home to diverse and vulnerable native fauna species, but they are also areas where foxes either live or pass through.

“While foxes will always pose a threat to wildlife, even a single fox can cause a lot of damage in a very short time, so every fox we can remove from the environment has the potential for a big impact.”

The fox baiting map can be found online at www.warrnambool.vic.gov.au. Hard copies are also available at the Civic Centre, 25 Liebig Street.

Residents who find fox carcasses on their property can contact Council on 5559 4800 to have them removed.