Dave Groves’ take

As Parliament keeps funding flowing to the latest incarnation of the Fox Farce Force, the evidence mounts that the State Government has made a wise decision in refocusing, and renaming, it as the Invasive Species Unit and distancing itself from foxes altogether.

On a recent extensive trip to outback South Australia and western NSW, I saw more foxes than you could point a 1080 bait at, let alone a .22 or a bloodhound, and I returned to Tasmania much wiser.

In 2007 I stuck my neck out and declared in Tasmanian Times that I had indeed seen a fox here in Tassie ( Here: Fox: I have lost faith ).

I have stalked them and I have shot them . . . no, not in Tasmania.

So I was familiar with what they looked like, albeit many, many moons ago and I was happy to declare back in 2007 that my wife and I had indeed seen a fox next to Algona Rd, between Kingston and Blackmans Bay in the state’s south.

But having now recently seen several foxes interstate, I can confidently say that the reddish beastie with the big bushy tail we saw near Kingston was not a fox.

Sure, it looked like a fox. Very much so.

But having reacquainted myself with the cunning little blighters interstate, including watching them casually stroll through car parks and seeing others strung up on farm fences after being shot, what I saw near Kingston was really a very well tarted-up domestic dog.

“Here Rover, c’mon boy, sit, yes, that’s it, just sit or stand next to the road long enough to get a bit of attention and . . . OK, let’s get out of here before we’re caught, and let’s get that silly fluffy tail unpinned from you.”

After several years of the Fox Farce Force finding scats containing no traces of Tasmanian fauna, lots of one-off fleeting sightings but none of mass observance, and of supposed foxes that seem to choose to be extremely timid in Tasmania while their counterparts interstate are happily more than brazen in their public gallivanting, only one conclusion can be drawn.

And that is . . . it’s a hoax, and a clever one at that. And it has cost taxpayers dearly.

Of course, not everyone will be convinced either way regarding the likelihood of foxes being in Tasmania until they see one for themselves.

So, I can’t really blame my wonderful wife for remaining convinced five years on that we had seen a fox on that fateful day at Kingston.

My original Tasmanian Times story preceded a bloodhound team finally being brought to the state to sniff out foxes.

Now, there is a push to bring Victorian bounty-hunting shooters to Tasmania.

Really, the whole hysteria of foxes being in this state is truly on the nose, and I don’t mean for bloodhounds.