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Local community urged to join fox cull campaign

GREATER Sydney Local Land Services has joined forces with Barragal Landcare, NSW DPI and three local councils to form the Menangle Fox Control Group which will aim to educate land owners, managers and local residents on the best ways to reduce rising fox numbers.

“This is about taking a long term, collaborative approach to fox management to empower property owners to help ease the spread of these pests,” Senior Strategic Land Services Officer Dr Alison Towerton said. “Foxes in the South West region cause problems for the health of livestock, native vegetation and wildlife.”

Dr Towerton said the program would involve a series of free workshops to the community to encourage a better understanding of fox behaviour, effective control measures and how they can ultimately help reduce their impacts over time.

“This is a long-term approach that’s success will rely on the support of land managers, owners and urban residents,” she said.

Greater Sydney District Veterinarian Dr Keith Walker said foxes were known to spread serious diseases to domestic livestock and pets including Neospora, a highly contagious infectious parasite which causes abortions in grazing livestock, especially cattle, as well as mange, heart worm and tape worm in domestic pets.

Barragal Landcare vice-chairman Roger Giles said the workshops would also cover the impacts foxes have as spreaders of noxious weeds.

“In this region in particular they are one of the main spreaders of the African Olive which represents a serious threat to the endangered ecosystem of the Cumberland Plain Woodland,” he said. “In order to control foxes we need a whole of community approach which includes our farming neighbours and those in urban environments where we see up to 10 times the fox population.”

The campaign will target Mount Gilead to Razorback Range and Camden, bordering the Nepean River in the North, encompassing parts of Campbelltown, Wollondilly and Camden council areas.”

Since their introduction to Australia in the 1870s foxes have contributed to the decline and extinction of several native animal species and are estimated to cost the agricultural industry more than $227 million annually.

Residents are invited to attend the first free workshop to kick off the campaign next Wednesday, 30 March at the Cawdor Public School, 685 Cawdor Rd from 7 – 9pm.

Register online for the workshop or contact Dr Alison Towerton on (02) 4724 2128 or for more information.

Media contact: Nikki McGrath (02) 4724 2138 M: 0448 953 755