Residents of Stawell have discovered a series of discarded fox carcasses in bushland near the town, but who is responsible for cleaning up the unsightly mess?
Information about the discovery of the carcasses was submitted to the Stawell-Times News, with the pile found inside Stawell's Rifle Range Bushland Reserve.
The person who submitted the information said this was the third pile of foxes dumped in various bushland around Stawell.
As shown by the picture, the foxes have been dumped in places clearly visible from tracks that are heavily used by runners, walkers and cyclists, even including families.
The Stawell Times-News has reached out to a number of authorities to find out what can be done to stop this practise.
The Northern Grampians Shire Council made no comment.
They said the DELWP was the authority and spokesperson for this matter as the Rifle Range Reserve is managed by DELWP and comment should be sought from that department not Council.
However, when the Stawell Times-News contacted DELWP, a spokesperson said the Rifle Range Reserve land is managed by Parks Victoria.
After being contacted by the Stawell Times-News, a Parks Victoria spokesperson said they are aware of fox carcasses being dumped in the rail corridor adjacent to the Rifle Range Bushland Reserve.
The spokesperson said they have increased patrols of this area and the rail corridor is managed by V/Line, who in turn said the area of land was managed by VicTrack and the Australian Rail Track Corporation.
An Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) spokesperson said they have not received any notification or reports of fox carcasses in the rail corridor.
"We will undertake further investigations and follow protocols to keep our rail corridor clear," they said.
Parks Victoria said red foxes are opportunistic predators and scavengers who prey on native fauna, snakes, birds, and mammals, and are responsible for dispersing weeds.
They also cause significant agricultural and economic harm by preying on farm livestock and can pose a health risk to humans and pets by transmitting diseases such as distemper, parvo virus and mange.
Agriculture Victoria established invasive animals biosecurity manager Jason Wishart said burial sites should be created to dispose of the animals.
"All hunters are encouraged to act responsibly when disposing of fox and wild dog carcasses on a farm or at a collection site, and make sure the burial site doesn't impact on land, surface waters, groundwaters or cause odour," he said.
Dumping of animal carcasses is considered rubbish dumping or pollution depending on its scale and location.
The Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) is the agency responsible for investigating offences under the Environment Protection Act 1970. EPA Victoria is responsible for enforcing relevant laws where rubbish dumping creates significant pollution or environmental impacts.
To find out more information about managing invasive species like foxes visit the Agriculture Victoria website.
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