Ken White, thank you, for sharing your experiences with fox hoaxes in Tasmania: (That elusive fox) 

You may have hit the nail on the head Ken when you said, “I believe I know how the rural mind works.”

When in 2001 DPIWE personnel provided a one-page briefing document to Police Minister, David Llewellyn identifying three individuals as potential suspects in the covert operation to smuggle in, rear and release up to 19 foxes, it was the most important trigger in the subsequent fox saga.

History shows the Police investigation came to nothing but news of their swoops and interviews would have spread far and wide across rural Tasmania. The absence of evidence and the finger squarely pointed at a certain fraternity within rural Tasmania was bound to have adverse and far-reaching consequences.

It is all very well for the State Government and DPIWE to now claim a lack of thoroughness by Tasmania Police as a convenient excuse for an inability to substantiate the claims alleged by DPIWE, but common sense should have told them that accusations not backed up by strong evidence are fraught with danger.

In 2006 we are now asked to accept that despite the many thousands of hours Tasmanian shooters hunt in locations that are considered ‘fox hotspots’, no foxes have been shot. [The fox allegedly shot at Symmons Plains was, in my view, so poorly handled as an incident that it cannot be considered genuine.]

And since October 2003 three foxes have apparently been run down by unidentified Tasmanian drivers.

We are asked to accept that there are low numbers of foxes (100, then 50 —  the figures change by the day) living in Tasmania and yet we still have no supporting evidence linking any of those road killed foxes with any follow up evidence of foxes in the environment in which they were found.

Based on this body of material, farmers are now calling on the State Government to allow aerial 1080 baiting for foxes. 

Unfortunately I believe the various waves of publicity accompanying sensationalised fox incidents has more to do with political face-saving and perhaps garnering funds than much else.

If foxes have arrived and survived in Tasmania it is, in my opinion, more likely to be the result of slack biosecurity and quarantine standards over the last thirty years than to Llewellyn’s ‘unsubstantiated’ theory that foxes were successfully smuggled in by Tasmanian deer hunters.

The Tasmanian Conservation Trust Director, Craig Woodfield wrote in their most recent newsletter:

“The reality is that the State Government and the Department of Primary Industries and Water specifically, are incapable of truly engaging the public on issues such as foxes.

“The culture of secrecy, political appeasement and micromanagement that exists within DPIW, something that has been getting worse in recent years, makes it impossible for truly open and honest engagement to occur. The picture does not look good either way. Even if foxes are not here in numbers, a culture that considers hoaxing to be acceptable behaviour, and a biosecurity cordon that is literally full of holes, means that foxes could well be here soon. Not long after that, certainly within my lifetime, the extinctions will begin.”

We are left to believe that in Tasmania with a very few foxes cars are more successful weapons to kill foxes than rifles.

The offer of $1000 for the first Tasmanian hunter who can satisfy the conditions of the fox reward still stands:
$1000 fox reward

David Obendorf 

History shows the Police investigation came to nothing but news of their swoops and interviews would have spread far and wide across rural Tasmania. The absence of evidence and the finger squarely pointed at a certain fraternity within rural Tasmania was bound to have adverse and far-reaching consequences. History shows the Police investigation came to nothing but news of their swoops and interviews would have spread far and wide across rural Tasmania. The absence of evidence and the finger squarely pointed at a certain fraternity within rural Tasmania was bound to have adverse and far-reaching consequences.