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TAS Country : December 23rd 2010
6 Tasmanian Country Friday, December 24, 2010 YOUR SAY firstname.lastname@example.org Deathly silence on fox call identifier DEBATABLE: A letter in from Robbie Gaffney in Tasmanian Country. I REFER to Robbie Gaffney's letter ''Fox fight poses minimal devil danger'' [Tasmanian Country, De- cember 17 2010]. This is debatable. What is certain, the DPIWE poison brigade poses no threat to foxes whatsoever. Inaccuracies have been the pre- rogative of the fox program with all its varying name changes since 2002; the latest name is the Fox Eradication Program. Following correspondence with Mr David Llewellyn in late 2006 and early 2007, three different field officers of the FEP visited me to explain how scat collecting oper- ates and requesting that I work with the program. I explained that such co- operation would be counter- productive. I was attempting to involve land owners and occupiers, who would be ignored in their daily routine by the foxes, whereas strangers wandering around would alert any foxes considering breed- ing in that locality, particularly if accompanied by strange dogs also. The farmers might think they know what activities are taking place on their property but foxes vet any stranger who trespasses on its property --- day or night. In my experience, until fox populations are becoming saturated foxes are largely nomadic, a fox depositing a scat today could be 50km away a day later. Identifying the location and num- ber of foxes in the early stages of the program would have been very useful. On two occasions I at- tempted to have fox calls broadcast at Agfest so all who visited would recognise fox calls, particularly the vixens squall. Everyone who at- tended would remember the eerie sound if they heard it. If foxes were squalling in June they would be heard, exact location and date obtained. Under the FEP, a scat deposited in June at the same time it was heard is collected one month later, sent away for DNA testing and in 12 months time it is confirmed that it was a fox. Mean- while the cubs of those foxes would have bred a litter themselves. At a public meeting in Burnie Town Hall Civic Centre, May 11 2009, I asked Mr Nick Mooney why had mating calls been ignored which he had said would be publi- cised when he visited me in 2007. He replied: ''We now have these marvellous sound records which can pinpoint exactly where the fox is, we are going to distribute them around the state.'' Would Robbie Gaffney care to say how many breeding pairs of foxes are at large in Tasmania and their locations as a result of these won- derful machines? I have advertised fox call CDs for at least the last five years. No advertisements posted this year as no fox calls heard since 2007. Why are foxes not being heard by anyone? Dr David Obendorf has offered to pay $5000 dollars for a genuine Tasmanian fox for the last five years; still unclaimed. Mr Ian Rist has also spent much time and money chasing these elusive foxes. I do know that most nights dur- ing the breeding season he travels areas where foxes have been re- ported, listening for any activity. No foxes heard. J. A. STEVENSON Fox Control Association Bait program explanations in conflict THE letter by Robbie Gaffney, acting manager of the Fox Eradication Program, and another letter by David Byard (Tasmanian Country, December 17, 2010) seem to conflict on several points. For example, Mr Gaffney states that a 7kg devil would need to dig up and consume 10 fox baits of 3mg each in 24 to 48 hours to receive a lethal dose. Mr Byard however states that a devil would need to dig up and consume 10 baits in 10 days to obtain a lethal dose. Which is it? Devils are not born weighing 7kg. They are out foraging for themselves at 1.5kg to 2kg . They can travel up to 30 kilometres in one night. A juvenile or female devil could receive a fatal dose from only one or two 3mg fox baits. The claim of tiger quolls being found in 1080 baited areas is not entirely correct. Whole populations of tiger quolls have been wiped out in places like the Tallaganda State Forest from 1080 fox baiting. In the Hansard of the Legislative Council of June 9, 2010, it is recorded that cameras put at 1080 fox bait sites have photographed devils, quolls and bettongs all excavating baits at very fresh bait sites. Mr Gaffney claims that I insinuate that fox evidence --- presented so far in the form of carcasses (in varying forms of decay), 57 scats (no two scats DNA match from one fox), one sample of blood (that only contained traces of fox DNA) and a fox skull --- is being imported. Not at all. I merely stated all you have as evidence is what is deemed in pathology terms as easily transportable items. It is quite clear in your emails I have obtained from recent Freedom of Information requests that you have requested fox skins, fox parts, fox scats, fox urine and even inquired as to the availability of live male foxes of 5.5kg. IAN RIST Wynyard Farmer loan fund needed I HAVE written to Minis- ter Bryan Green and Treasurer Lara Giddings to add my support to the proposal by Tasmanian farmers for a HECS-style loan fund aimed at long term, cost effective, invest- ment in agricultural proj- ects in Tasmania. I asked them to work together to achieve the desired outcomes of the TFGA's 2011 budget sub- missionand the realisation of this proposal. Investment in agricul- tural business models is often frustrated by a lack of cash flow and the slow maturation of returns. Our agriculture indus- try is a valuable and su- stainable asset for Tas- mania and participants should be encouraged and assisted to grow, diversify and take the lead with innovative practices. But the bottom line is that relying on the com- mercial money market could stop it in its tracks. The value of agricultural investment in Tasmania, is reason enough for the Government to ''take the bull by the horns''. GREG HALL Member for Western Tiers Public dudded by timber compo SURPRISE, surprise. Climate minister Combet has been in Cancun trying to exempt timber companies from admit- ting that they have played an inordi- nately large part in global warming, and here in Tassie Big Timber is crying poor and wants to get paid out for changing their business practices and bringing their industry into some sem- blance of repute. It offends me that the public, already comprehensively dud- ded over years, should be asked to fork up their dollars to reward the timber industry for mismanagement while ignoring its astonishing disdain for fiscal and social probity over decades. ED TULEJA, Meander Call: Dan Ryan: 0400 670 386 Brett Stevenson: 0407 000 242 Office: 03 6223 3536 70 Hampden Road, Battery Point, Hobart. www.sfmes.com.au Your forest Your asset > Deposits of up to $100,000 for your timber > An established market network > Professional foresters and contractors > Certified forest management systems If you re a landowner and want to utilise your forest - talk to us. SFM is the leading provider of independent forest management in Tasmania. We get maximum value for your forest products by providing;
December 16th 2010
January 6th 2011