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Time is running out to apply for fox permit

Time is running out for fox owners in NSW to apply for a permit.

The NSW Government has worked with Sydney Fox Rescue and fox owners since December last year to develop a set of conditions that strikes a balance between the Pest Control Order for foxes, animal welfare guidelines and the expectations of owners.

Greater Sydney Local Land Services Biosecurity manager Graham Wilson said anyone who is keeping a fox as a pet has until 31 January 2016 to apply for a Captive European Red Fox Permit.

"The NSW Government recognises that there are a small number of people have adopted foxes so we are accommodating them by allowing existing pet foxes to be maintained under a permit," Mr Wilson said.

"The reality is that these animals have played a central role in the demise and extinction of several native species.

"Foxes have caused significant financial losses to the farming community and pose a serious veterinary and public health risk.

"It is estimated foxes cost Australia's environment and economy as much as $227.5 million every year and that is a key factor for no longer permitting pet foxes."

Applications for a Captive European Red Fox Permit have been available from Local Land Services since November this year.

"In the first three weeks we have only received two applications," Mr Wilson said.

"We believe there are more than 100 captive foxes across NSW and are urging captive fox owners to do the right thing and contact their nearest Local Land Services office to apply for a permit before it's too late."

People keeping a fox without a permit face significant fines and the removal of their pet. 

Applications for a captive fox permit will not be issued after 31 January 2016. Written permit requests can be emailed to

Media Contact: Nikki McGrath (02) 4724 2138