Jindalee resident concerned dogs at risk of contracting mange

The fox spotted in Jindalee bushland.        Picture: Peter Walpole
The fox spotted in Jindalee bushland.        Picture: Peter Walpole

Peter Walpole saw a feral fox he believes could have severe mange in the proposed Jindee estate site last week.

“My main concern is the bush tracks alongside Jindalee are used by people to take pet dogs for walks,” he said.

Mr Walpole was also worried about the animal’s welfare.

“What I really want is for someone to shoot or trap this poor animal and put it out of its misery,” he said.

According to the Department of Agriculture and Food WA, the red fox is a declared pest and landholders are responsible for controlling them.

City of Wanneroo acting assets director Graham Tattersall said the fox was on private land and suggested people avoid the area.

“Though a dog has only a slight risk of catching this disease and it is very easily treated in domestic dogs,” he said.

Jindee project manager James Blitz, from Estate Development Company, said a flora and fauna management plan had been prepared in consultation with the City of Wanneroo and included an agreed protocol for dealing with foxes.

“As soon as we heard of this reported sighting, we engaged an experienced contractor to put in place a site-specific fox control program,” he said.

“This will be a comprehensive response and balance the need to protect native wildlife with a balanced approach to animal welfare so the issue is addressed in a way that complies with the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act.”

Brighton Vet’s Mike Jones said despite the fox’s appearance, he could not be sure it had mange.

“You would need to do a blood test to confirm and it’s very difficult to identify even with that test,” he said.

To contract the mite, a dog would need to have contact with the fox or its carcass.

Dr Jones suggested people keep their dogs on a lead and “take more care” in the area.

“They just need to be aware of it,” he said.

“And if you are concerned then see a vet.”