Foxes are widespread, highly mobile and efficient breeders. They can quickly move in and recolonise areas where fox numbers have been reduced.

Impact of foxes

Foxes are 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 bird species.

Foxes also carry diseases such as mange and tapeworm.

Fox control

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

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

The main poison used to control foxes is 1080 which is regulated by the Pesticides Act and Pesticide Control Order. Landholders must have current approved chemical users training to obtain and use 1080.

Trapping can be undertaken with the aid of mesh cage traps, or soft/rubber jawed leg hold traps and lures.

For more information on pest species and biosecurity, visit Pestsmart and the Department of Primary Industries.

Otherwise, please contact your local Biosecurity Officer if you require fox pest animal management advice.

NSW Legislation

The European red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is a widespread non-native pest animal found throughout NSW and considered responsible for a range of negative impacts on the NSW economy, community and the environment.

Predation by the European red fox in NSW is listed as a Key Threatening Process in Schedule 4 of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016. Since its introduction into Australia in the 1870s, the European red fox species has contributed to severe declines and extinctions of a suite of native fauna, particularly among medium-sized (450-5000 g) ground-dwelling and semi-arboreal mammals, ground-nesting birds and freshwater turtles.

A Pest Control Order for the European red fox has been repealed and has been replaced with a listing of the European red fox as a Priority Pest Animal. The biosecurity risks and impacts posed or likely to be posed by priority pest animal species are generally regulated under Part 3 of the Biosecurity Act 2015 (NSW), using the general biosecurity duty. A wide range of community members have a general biosecurity duty for management of the biosecurity risks and impacts associated with priority pest animals.

The general biosecurity duty is outlined in part 3 of the Biosecurity Act and the following sections are of specific relevance to priority pest animal management:

  • Section 22: The general biosecurity duty applies to a person who deals with biosecurity matter (including pest animals) or a carrier, and who knows, or ought reasonably to know the biosecurity risk posed or likely to be posed by the biosecurity matter, carrier or dealing. Such a person has a biosecurity duty to ensure that, so far as is reasonably practicable, the biosecurity risk is prevented, eliminated or minimised. Section 23: provides an offence of failing to discharge the biosecurity duty.
  • Under the Biosecurity Regulation 2017 (NSW), the European red fox must not be kept or moved unless appropriately authorised for example for exhibition in a licensed zoo or for pest control purposes. Additionally, a captive European red fox must not be released.

Regional Strategic Pest Animal Management Plans

We've worked with regional pest animal committees and the community to develop regional strategic pest animal management plans in each of our 11 Local Land Services regions.

Your Regional Strategic Pest Animal Management Plans will tell you what priority pest animal pest animals you need to manage and how.

Read your Regional Strategic Pest Animal Management Plan:

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