Friday, 12 December 2014

Australian foxes are pests not pets, NSW declares

8 December 2014 Last updated at 04:31

Foxes have been officially declared a pest in New South Wales but there is concern people are taking them as pets.

The NSW government has for the first time announced a pest control order for foxes, which are not native to Australia.

The order will make it easier for local land services to target foxes and to control who keeps them in captivity.

Foxes are estimated to be responsible for about A$227.5m (£121m) of damage to Australia's environment and economy.

"The introduction of the pest control order brings NSW into line with all other states in Australia in ensuring that foxes must be controlled by landholders on their properties," said NSW Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson.

"Foxes are not companion animals - this pest control order sends the clear message that they are pests, not pets," she said.

"Foxes cause extensive damage for livestock producers, with studies showing lamb losses to fox predation can be as high as 30%."

Wildlife 'devastated'
People who currently keep foxes in captivity will have to apply for a permit.

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