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The fox is a major predator of lambs, poultry and goat kids. They play a significant role in the decline of native wildlife, including rock wallabies, numbats and numerous bird species.

Fox activity and population size around your property can be observed and monitored by looking out for evidence of foxes:

  • visible sightings—day and night
  • missing/dead animals (chickens and stock)
  • fox faeces
  • prints
  • dens.

Control methods

1080 is the main poison used to control foxes. 1080 use is regulated by the Pesticides Act and Pesticide Control Order that defines the requirements for use. Landholders must have current approved chemical users training to obtain and use 1080. Coordinated local group baiting programs will enhance baiting outcomes.

Trapping can be undertaken with the aid of mesh cage traps, or soft/rubber jawed leg hold traps. Lures can be used to attract foxes.

Pest control order

The NSW Government introduced a Pest Control Order (PCO) for the European Red Fox in 2014. This PCO applies across the State of NSW.

Under this order, Local Land Services can serve individual eradication orders to any owner or occupier of land, requiring them to eradicate the pest using a method specified in the eradication order.

Where a fox is cage or leg-hold trapped as part of a control program and cannot be humanely euthanised on-site, a pest animal movement permit from Local Land Services is required under the Local Land Services Act 2013 to move the declared pest animal to a veterinarian for destruction. The application form can be downloaded here:

The PCO does not allow the keeping of newly acquired foxes as pets in captivity.

Captive fox permits

In accordance with the pest control order, foxes can no longer be kept in captivity without a permit, released into the wild or rescued from the wild for adoption or re-homing.

The PCO prohibits new cases of fox ownership or fox husbandry and permits to keep captive foxes are no longer available.

Under the Local Land Services Act 2013, penalties apply for failing to comply with a PCO (50 penalty units or up to $8,500) and failing to register an existing pet fox (20 penalty units or up to $3,400 and removal of any non-permitted animal).