The silver fox is the same species as the red fox, a significant feral pest.
Photo © Zali Brookes
With the number of feral animals, cats, cane toads, wild dogs, deer, pigs, goats, horses and foxes inflicting environmental harm on our wildlife and its habitat, why would anyone consider introducing yet another potential threat?
The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPaC) has received an application and draft environment assessment report to allow live import of the silver fox for private keeping and potential breeding for commercial sale. SEWPaC has no choice but to consider the proposal. It is duty bound to assess the application through a transparent process to ensure a fair assessment regardless of the perceived merit. Fortunately, the Department also must consider comments on such proposals.
Wildlife Queensland is strongly opposed to the import of the silver fox and will be joining the ever increasing chorus of opposition to this application.
The silver fox is the same species (Vulpes vulpes) as the red fox, a significant feral pest. There are estimates of up to 30 million red foxes in Australia. The Victorian Government states the red fox cost the State an estimated $39 million. According to Invasive Animal Cooperative Research Centre with its central office in Canberra, the red fox causes lamb losses in the order of $21 million annually, other stock and wildlife losses of $190 million and $40 million in control programs. Why would approval be given to introduce a fox of a different colour even if it is domesticated?
The rationale apparently is simply to have a new unique pet for the market. It is stated that if the silver fox escaped or was released there is every chance they would establish a population in the wild. Furthermore even if the animals were de-sexed they still would be capable of harming our wildlife. It is the view of Wildlife Queensland that the silver fox application should meet the same fate as that of the Savannah Cat proposal. Permit them to exist happily where they are now - but not in Australia.
Should you share our view let your voice be heard. Written comments can be forwarded to the Director, Wildlife Trade Regulation Section, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, GPO 787 Canberra ACT 2600 or by email
For more information on Wildlife Queensland's activities, call us on +61 7 3221 0194 or send us an email.