Sally Thomson Program Coordinator 0417983356 RED CARD FOR RABBITS & FOXES ‘working together for maximum impact’ MEDIA RELEASE – 21st June 2010 TITLE: RED CARD PROGRAM REWARDS RFDS A program designed to tackle the problem of rabbits and foxes, has stolen the stage at one of the state’s biggest sheep sales. A $15,000 cheque was handed to the Royal Flying Doctor Service at the June Special Sheep Sale in Katanning last Friday. The money was raised after the Stockbrands Company paid five dollars for each fox culled during the “Red Card for the Red Fox” shoots held in February and March. The $15,000 donation will go to the RFDS Flying 1000 Club, which fits out and maintains regional aeroplane equipment. This year more than 40 local groups comprising about 800 farmers scoured their properties to cull 3000 foxes, 160 feral cats, 2300 rabbits and 40 wild pigs. Stockbrands Co. owner John Forehan said he was pleased with the outcome of the program and also thanked farmers for their support. “If farmers didn’t buy our Strong and Sidney eartags, we wouldn’t be able to sponsor the program - and there’d be a heap more foxes running around,” Mr Forehan said. The fox shoot results complement the major control activity – 1080 baiting on farming properties through the southwest land division. Over 25,000 1080 fox baits were laid by more than 500 farmers during the two-month Autumn baiting period. Some farmers said they had noticed a significant increase in lambing numbers since the reduction of the fox population. Program Coordinator Sally Thomson said the program continued to grow. “Researchers are making use of the culled foxes and feral cats by investigating diet, parasite loads and morphology of animals from different locations,” Sally Thomson said. “PhD research into the effectiveness of the framework of “Red Card” as an engagement tool for conservation programs is also taking place.” Red Card for Rabbits and Foxes is a collaborative program, funded by the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA), Wheatbelt NRM, South West Catchments Council and South Coast NRM bodies. Strong partnerships between these organizations and groups, including local Landcare groups, Local Government Associations, sporting clubs, bushfire brigades, and interest groups such as the Sporting Shooters Association, are the key to the program’s success in achieving good on-ground participation and results. Work has now begun on a website to improve communication including results, baiting incentive programs, a focus on spring baiting - and of course the 2011 coordinated autumn baiting and shooting programs. Sally Thomson Program Coordinator 0417983356 CONTACTS: Sally Thomson (RCRF): 0417 983 356 email@example.com Patricia Forehan (Stockbrands) 0438 883 270 firstname.lastname@example.org Lyndal Strauss (RFDS): 9417 6300 Lyndal.email@example.com PHOTO CAPTION: (L-R) Katanning RFDS volunteer Laurie Severin, Katanning RCRF Coordinator, Ella Maesepp and Stockbrands owner John Forehan with the ‘big cheque’ at the June Special Sheep Sale at the Katanning Salyeards.
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