Red Card for Foxes, Cats and Rabbits

The most efficient way to reduce the impact of feral animals is to conduct a strategic coordinated program over a number of land holdings. The aim of the Red Card Hotbaiting period is to encourage landholders to coordinate their baiting activities at the same time. 

Foxes

Baiting programmes are most effective during breeding and fox dispersal. Baiting during breeding in July-October (in Australia) reduces the number of foxes born to repopulate the landscape. Baiting during autumn removes dispersing foxes. These dates also coincide with spring and autumn lambing when flocks are most vulnerable.

To establish effective control over fox predation:

  • Consider the true fox numbers in an area
  • Think of the harbour afforded by areas outside the property
  • Bait in Spring and Autumn to remove young foxes and to prevent adult breeding
  • Use 5 baits per 100 hectares, and replace baits weekly to fortnightly - dependent on the weather
  • Work with neighbours to increase the area of control
  • Invest time in the eradication programme—be thorough
  • Survey fox populations before and after the programme
  • Protect working dogs by restraining them or fixing a muzzle during baiting programmes

When using 1080 meat baits to control foxes, you should:

  • Bury or tether the baits. Foxes will easily find and dig up baits while non-target native animals are unlikely to find them. This is particularly useful in preventing birds from picking up baits and dropping them near your dam or house and 1080 baiting In a country with the world’s highest mammal extinction rate we can help to protect our unique animal and plant species by reducing the number of threats they are facing.
  • Use no more than five baits per 100ha – this will save you money and stop animals from picking up the baits and burying them in a cache.
  • Follow up with a second baiting round in late summer and early autumn, when foxes are migrating. While this is not the best time of year to bait, it will reduce the chances of foxes coming in from neighbouring properties and recolonising your property after your spring baiting program.
  • Leave your baits out for no longer than two weeks. After two weeks on the ground, 1080 will start to leach out of the bait and degrade. Any baits out on the ground for much longer than two weeks are likely to contain a sub-lethal dose of 1080. If a fox takes a bait with a sub-lethal dose of 1080 they will only get sick and then will never take another bait, making it harder to catch it in the future.
  • Follow up with a second baiting round in late summer and early autumn, when foxes are migrating. While this is not the best time of year to bait, it will reduce the chances of foxes coming in from neighbouring properties and recolonising your property after your spring baiting program.
  • At the end of each baiting program, pick up any baits that you have laid that weren’t taken and dispose of them by deep burial and/or burning to ensure sub lethal doses of 1080 aren’t available to your neighbourhood foxes.

Rabbits

To establish effective control :

If you have hunters coming onto your property looking for rabbits to shoot, you must let them know if you are baiting, as the carcasses may have 1080 in them, making them unsuitable to eat.  The main period for baiting for rabbits is in Autumn.  Warning signs must be left up on properties for 4 weeks after cessation of baiting in WA, and it is not recommended to hunt for rabbits to eat during this time.

  • Conventional oat baits
    Each individual oat contains a small amount of poison meaning the rabbit needs to eat many oats in order to be poisoned. A period of seven days ‘free-feeding’ (putting out unpoisoned baits) gives the rabbits a chance of getting used to eating oats, before introducing the poisoned oat baits. Failure to free-feed can result in rabbits only taking a few oats, then stopping once they get sick, never to touch another oat again.
  • One-shot oat baits
    A small percentage of oats contain enough poison to kill a rabbit, with the remaining oats being unpoisoned. This method does not require freefeeding as the rabbits will keep eating oats until they get one oat with poison in it, which will have enough poison to kill it.
  • Rabbit bait stations
    Rabbit bait stations can significantly reduce the chance of non-target animals taking poisoned baits. They are designed to safely and efficiently feed poisoned oats to feral rabbits. They also save you time and money by protecting the bait from weather and allow easy monitoring of bait uptake. Once oats have been placed in the station, it is best to leave the oats and rabbits undisturbed for 10 days. This gives the rabbits enough time to become comfortable with the station and learn to eat enough oats for the poison to be effective.​

How do I Bait?

  • In Western Australia, you need to be accredited to use 1080 baits.  The process is outlined on the Accreditation Page