CWA members from across NSW voted unanimously last month to call for a ban on the breeding, rescuing and rehoming of foxes for pets.
At the 2014 CWA state conference held in Griffith in May, members heard not only was NSW the only state in Australia where foxes have not been declared a feral species, but that fox rescue organisations have now been established in NSW and are rescuing adult foxes and their young and encouraging the public to “adopt a fox” as a pet.
Groups such as Sydney Fox Rescue want to “rescue, rehabilitate and rehome” these animals so that orphaned and injured foxes “can live happily and comfortably in a family environment” in the city.
CWA Far South Coast Group president Mary Williams said that there was general feeling of disbelief amongst the crowd of around 800-plus delegates and observers at the conference.
“Many of the women attending the conference are farmers and have spent a lifetime confronting the devastation caused by foxes, both to livestock and native species” she said.
“Fox rescue organisations appear to be based in and around Sydney and perhaps appeal to city people with little or no experience or understanding of the problem foxes pose in the wild.
“I am sure many people adopting these foxes do so because they love animals and are concerned about their welfare.
“We would urge them to consider other options for pets, however, such as adopting one of the many thousands of domestic dogs and cats in the care of organisations such as the RSPCA and the Animal Welfare League.”
NSW is the only state in Australia where it is possible to keep foxes in captivity as foxes have not been declared a pest species.
It is an offence to release them into the wild, however.
CWA members voted to call for foxes to be declared a feral species in NSW in line with the other states.
The motion came from the Richmond branch of the CWA.
This issue was just one of many topics debated at the CWA state conference, which was attended by around 40 members from Far South Coast Group branches.
“The CWA will tackle any issue that members believe needs addressing, whether it is related to agriculture and the environment, health, regional infrastructure or social or community services” Ms Williams said.
The next CWA state conference will be held in May 2015 in Tamworth.
Anyone interested in learning more about the CWA or coming along to a meeting are encouraged to visit the CWA website www.cwaofnsw.org.au.