'It's scary': Why foxes are being scalped and hung from trees in Victoria

A fox bounty in Victoria offering $10 a scalp does not appear to be working well for some parts of the state, with carcasses reportedly appearing on display in public parks in the Mornington Peninsula.

According to Agriculture Victoria wild dogs and foxes are "established pest animals" in the southern state and a bounty has been offered to keep numbers down.

"This program rewards eligible Victorian hunters with a $10 bounty reward for each fox killed, and $120 bounty for each wild dog killed, subject to the Victorian Fox and Wild Dog Bounty Terms and Conditions," the website states.

The Mornington Peninsula Leader reports that despite the requirement for carcasses to be disposed of responsibly a council worker said he had spotted dead foxes on display at public parks.

The man who did not want to be identified said the detail of the deceased animals is "scary".

He said that there was one hanging from a tree, while there were two scalped foxes in a nature reserve.

“Kids can see them, it is horrible for them to see foxes with half their faces peeled off,” he told the publication.

The website states that eligible applicants must submit an 'entire' fox scalp including both ears, the skin surrounding both eyes and the nose. Source: Agriculture Victoria

According to the Agriculture Victoria website the animals need ongoing management by public and private land owners as they cannot be eradicated.

"Eligible applicants must submit an entire fox scalp including both ears, the skin surrounding both eyes and the nose," Agriculture Victoria website states.

"All Victorian residents and landholders are eligible to submit acceptable entire fox scalps at scheduled collection centres, providing that those scalps were collected in Victoria and the supply is one made in an individual capacity, not of a commercial or business nature."

A wildlife expert told the Mornington Peninsula Leader that numbers of foxes appear worse than previous years and he thought the cost per fox was contributing to the bounty's effectiveness.

“They kill wildlife, anything the size of a rabbit down, birds and wallabies, and farmers can lose lambs, chickens too," Malcolm Legg told the publication.

Mornington Peninsula Shire natural systems team leader Simon Thorning told 7 News Online that fox numbers were high in the peninsula and many other parts of the state due in part to the ready supply of shelter and food.

"The Shire operates fox control programs in areas of high biodiversity, including Tootgarook Swamp, Yaringa and Police Point Shire Park.

"Successful fox management requires coordinated uses of many humane control methods depending on the situation, including harbour removal, property hygiene, working with neighbours, shooting, baiting and trapping."