Fox baiting under way across Macarthur

Baiting: Local Land Services carries out major 1080 baiting programs in the region each year in an effort to protect local wildlife from foxes.
Baiting: Local Land Services carries out major 1080 baiting programs in the region each year in an effort to protect local wildlife from foxes.

Pet owners, you have been warned - Greater Sydney Local Land Services have commenced a fox baiting program across the shire.

The 1080 baiting program will take place at several properties in The Oaks, Oakdale, Mowbray Park, Orangeville, Glenmore, Werombi, Theresa Park, Brownlow Hill, Razorback and Douglas Park.

The highly-toxic pesticide is considered a cost-effective way to control fox populations and protect local wildlife. However it can pose a risk to native wildlife and domestic animals.

A Local Land Services biosecurity officer said the Wollondilly baiting program would end on May 1.

"All property owners who are laying baits have been trained in the correct procedures in laying baits," the officer said.

"Pet owners are advised to restrain their pets during this time and not let them wander in areas where the baits have been laid."

Public notification of the baiting went into the Wollondilly Advertiser and Camden Advertiser on March 25 and letter box drops were done on adjoining properties to those who are baiting.

Foxes pose a serious threat to native vegetation, domestic pets and livestock, causing over $227 million agricultural damage a year in Australia.

A Local Land Services spokeswoman said Macarthur was home to a large fox population.

A new fox control group was formed in an effort to fight the growing population.

More than 30 landholders turned out to the first meeting of the new Wedderburn Fox Control Group (WFCG) targeting the pest animals across Camden, Wollondilly and Campbelltown.

Local Land Services officer Dr Alison Towerton said registrations were already rolling in with another public meeting to come in spring.

"This campaign builds off the success of the Menangle Fox Control Group launched in 2016," Dr Towerton said.

The campaign, coordinated by Local Land Services in partnership with Campbelltown Council, Barragal Landcare Group and local landholders, adopts a coordinated, landscaped approach to fox management targeting sites in Wedderburn, Menangle, Picton and Camden.

Wedderburn Christian Campsite's Paul Muilwyk said they had managed to trap and remove four foxes to date from their 55-hectare property with the support of Local Land Services and council experts.

"We see them all the time," Mr Muilwyk said.

"We are concerned about the impact they could have on the local koala population as well as other native animals and the local environment and they regularly harass and attack our chickens."

People wanting to join WFCG can contact Brendon Levot at wedderburn.fox@gmail.com.