Fox Reporting and Control
Foxes are an introduced species that are an agricultural pest as well as a threat to a range of native animals. Hunting by foxes is contributing to declining populations of native birds, reptiles and small mammals.
Residents are encouraged to participate in national community reporting of foxes and other feral species through the FeralScan website and smartphone apps. More information is available from the Invasive Species CRC at the FeralScan website.
Foxes are a declared pest and fox control should be undertaken on private properties in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act 2002. The WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) has information about various pest animal and fox control methods on their website.
Metal jawed traps are generally not permitted but soft-jawed traps or large cage traps may be used to control foxes. Using a trap other than a cage trap will usually require a permit from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (formerly Department of Agriculture). The application form is available from their website.
Fox Trapping Trial
In early 2017 there was a national release of a new strain of a rabbit biocontrol virus. The spread of this disease reduces rabbit populations, which has a range of environmental benefits. However removing rabbits can also increase fox hunting impacts on native fauna, unless the fox population is reduced at the same time.
The Shire undertook some fox trapping on private properties, identified by landowner expressions of interest, in 2017 and 2018. Fox traps can also catch domestic dogs where they are not kept on a leash. The trap itself is designed to hold without injury but trapped pets can injure themselves trying to escape. Trapping on fenced private land was considered as a way of limiting the risk of trapping off-leash dogs.
The trapping program was undertaken by a licenced contractor, using padded-jaw traps in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act 2002.