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MacLoran Farm

Livestock SA urges govt to follow wild dog funding lead of WA

Livestock SA is dismayed at the lack of action from the South Australian Government for wild dog control despite its counterparts in Western Australia and Victoria increasing funding to stop their spread across agricultural and peri‐urban areas.

Yesterday, the Western Australian Government announced a $20 million funding injection for its wild dog action plan including funding wild dog trappers and dog fence repairs. Meanwhile, Victoria spends more than $11 million a year on baiting, hunting and trapping and will increase its aerial baiting, part of a $6.2 million program.

President Geoff Power says Livestock SA cannot understand why the SA Government does nothing when WA and Victoria are pouring millions into wild dog control. “The same threat that exists in WA and Victoria exists here in SA. Victoria recognises that damage caused by wild dogs costs up to $18 million per year and South Australia’s losses would be at least that, and more,” Mr Power said.

“In fact, if the government does not pay more attention to this problem then wild dogs – which are dingoes that are interbred – will be a common sight in the Adelaide Hills. “We know this because we have seen it in Queensland. They have a massive peri‐urban problem when it comes to wild dogs, they are a threat to small children and pets, not to mention Australian wildlife which cannot defend themselves.

“The government recently committed $500,000 to a Koala Centre of Excellence in the Adelaide Hills and all this work will be undone when wild dogs move south and attack native animals. “Wild dogs are now causing havoc inside and outside the dog fence killing sheep, cattle and native wildlife. They are on the march further south unless we do something about it.”

While farmers are already investing $600,000 in control, Mr Power says $300,000 is urgently needed to employ expert trappers to track dogs that currently get through other lines of defence. “We have seen what has happened in other states – wild dogs have decimated the

Queensland and WA sheep industries, particularly in the pastoral zone. In Qld, there are only 1.5m sheep left when 25 years ago there was 20m. In WA, there is 13m sheep, compared with 20m previously, but only 200,000 in the pastoral zone. “It’s $300,000 that we are seeking. It is not a huge sum of money to protect a significant contributor to the state’s economy in the livestock industry.”

Published: 16 November 2016