Farmers want bounty on feral animal's heads

The peak body for NSW farmers has called on the state government to immediately introduce a bounty on wild dogs and foxes to help control the growing pest animal problem across the state.

It came as the Daily Liberal received anecdotal reports of large numbers of foxes on properties in a large rural area west of Dubbo.

NSW Farmers' Association president Fiona Simson said landholders were reporting one of the worst pest animal seasons they had experienced with wild dogs in particular.

She said pest animals were costing Australian agriculture, urban areas and the natural environment about $1 billion each year.

"That doesn't even take into account the social costs which can be devastating to our farming families," she said.

The Victorian government doubled its bounty on wild dog pelts this week from $50 to $100 as part of its four-year bounty program for foxes and wild dogs.

Ms Simson said a consistent and coordinated approach to pest animal management was needed because foxes, wild dogs and pest animals did not recognise property or state boundaries.

"We want a consistent approach to pest animal control on public and private land, as well as across state borders," she said.

"A bounty program needs to be complemented with improved surveillance and reporting, better planning and coordination and a more strategic approach to pest animal control statewide.

"We have been encouraged by the NSW government's commitment to delivering a more coordinated and collaborative approach to pest animal management in our state.

"But the pest animal problem is so big that we need an arsenal of weapons to fight it and a bounty is one of those weapons."

One local shooter reported a haul of 19 foxes from two nights' work within a fortnight recently at Nevertire, west of Dubbo.

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