Fox baiting program begins November 1, 2022

News date:

To help protect native wildlife, a fox baiting program will commence from November 1, with pet owners advised to keep their dogs and cats well clear of the baiting areas until Christmas.

Bait will be laid near Pickering Point, the area behind the skate park, parts of Lake Pertobe and the area west of the water treatment facility.

VIEW THE 2022 FOX BAITING MAP

Warrnambool City Council Director City Infrastructure David Leahy said that specially-trained Border Collies had scouted the city’s foreshore area, identifying hot-spots of fox activity.

“The Canidae Dogs help locate areas where foxes are active and provide the data we need to come up with the most effective baiting program,” he said.

“Our foreshore is home to a wide variety of native animal and bird species, most famously the Little Penguin colony on Middle Island, and foxes remain a constant threat to their survival.

“Targeted fox baiting is one way we can reduce their numbers and help protect native wildlife.”

All baits will be buried well away from any footpaths, with each piece to be mapped via GPS to help with removal at the end of the baiting program.

Para-aminopropiophenone (commonly called PAPP) is the variety of bait that will be used. It is considered more humane than other baits, and doesn’t poison the flesh of the deceased animal, meaning that other creatures that may scavenge on its carcass are not affected.

“Because the baits are buried and are meat-based, they target scavenging carnivorous animals like foxes rather than birds, yet dogs and cats can be foraging carnivores too, so it’s really important that pets are kept out of the baiting area,” Mr Leahy said.

“We will be putting up plenty of signs to make everyone aware of where the baited areas are, as well as letterbox dropping nearby residents and sending an SMS to all registered pet owners.

“We also have a map on our website that shows exactly where the baited areas are, and I’d encourage everyone to have a look at it.

“There is an antidote that can be administered by a vet if a dog or cat eats any of the bait, but rapid action is required.

“If you believe your pet may have been in a baited area and you notice any signs of lethargy or a lack of coordination, take them to a vet that carries the antidote immediately.”

Vet clinics in Warrnambool that hold the antidote include:

• The Vet Group, 59 Mortlake Road Warrnambool – Phone 5561 6911

• The Warrnambool Veterinary Clinic, 514 Raglan Parade – Phone 5559 0222

Anyone who encounters a fox carcass in or near the baiting area is asked to contact Council on 5559 4800.