Tasmania’s Fox Eradication Program is still attempting to ‘eradicate’ foxes over 3,000,000 hectares of what’s termed “core fox habitat” without any legislation to ensure that the eradicators can enter all properties to undertake their killing activities.
How sensible is that?
With DPIPWE declaring they have discovered fox scats from Boat Harbour in NW Tasmanian to Seymour on the East Coast and from Gladstone in North East Tasmania to Southport in Southern Tasmania, they have a program of baiting this vast area of core fox habitat beginning in the south and working progressively through this vast fox habitat.
One assumes that the foxes from adjoining areas won’t move back into the kill zones where they’ve already been eradicated.
And what about any foxes surviving on the many properties in the southern Tasmania area where the owners have refused to let the fox-eradicators on their land?
As Helen Kempton wrote in last Friday’s Mercury: “The State and federal government have spent $36 million trying to eradicate foxes in Tasmania but a live fox has never been trapped in the state.”
As for the one fox scat and the assumed fox-crapper on Bruny Island, the new Minister for Foxes, David O’Byrne told an Estimates Committee that before the fox-eradicators can lay poison baits on Bruny, ‘more evidence would need to be found’.
In summary: no law to enter and eradicate foxes on all properties; only partial coverage of the core fox habitats with poison baits to ‘eradicate foxes’; and a slow program of baiting 3,000,000 hectares of core fox habitat from south to north.
In the spring of 1830 Governor George Arthur deployed his infamous ‘Black Line’ to capture every Tasmanian aboriginal; it was a complete failure, a costly flop and proved an amusement for various Government officers.
One hundred and eighty years later, Tasmania is embarking on another costly ‘line’ with the expectation of exterminating foxes - Tasmania’s ‘fox line’.