The National Wild Dog Action Plan Stakeholder Consultation Group (NWDAPSCG) and Coordination Committee (NWDAPCC) met in Canberra early May to review the Plan’s progress and achievements.
Australia’s peak livestock industry bodies and landholders are represented on these groups, and under their stewardship, NWDAP has continued to help shape and support best practice wild dog management in this third stage of the Plan.
The Committee soundly endorsed the work of National Wild Dog Coordinator Greg Mifsud, from the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions (CISS) in promoting best practice wild dog management.
Stage 3 Review & Impact Assessment
The Committee has commissioned a final review and impact assessment of the NWDAP Stage 3 to determine whether the objectives of the Plan have been fully met.
In another demonstration of industry/government solidarity, the mandatory five-year review is being co-funded through industry and the federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR).
Agtrans Research explained the rationale and procedures for the final review and impact assessment (including a cost-benefit analysis). Stakeholder consultation and input was highlighted as a critical part of the review process.
The NWDAP mid-term review had estimated the net annual economic benefit for Stage 1 and 2 at between $4.2 million and $6.67 million and identified two key ‘first order’ benefits: increased leveraging of resources and improved efficiency of wild dog control efforts.
Media & Communications
Stage 3 communications have evolved to a half-time NWDAP Communications Coordinator backed up by the strategic input of the CISS Communications Manager.
The significant body of knowledge around NWDAP continues to be housed on the soon to be updated PestSmart website, facilitating communication to those at the ‘coal face’ of wild dog management.
An important part of the NWDAP review is assessing the effectiveness of our communications with stakeholders. NWDAP Communications Coordinator Meredith Ashton presented a draft survey and stakeholders were urged to complete the final version and distribute it to their networks. Growing the NWDAP subscriber base is key to improving the reach of our communications.
Industry endorsement of the Certificate III course in Rural and Environmental Pest Management is a significant NWDAP achievement.
Greg Mifsud explained: “Ultimately, we would like to see nationally-endorsed, pest animal controller (PAC) training lead to a recognised profession. Ensuring the availability of properly trained PACs together with ongoing professional development for wild dog coordinators are priorities.”
Read background information
Vertebrate pest management on organic properties
Currently 1080 cannot be used on land certified for organic production, however there is ongoing dialogue with the organic certification sector. NWDAP has already gained credibility by developing a checklist and best practice guidelines for the use of 1080 on land excised from certification on an organic property.
Looking forward, looking back
The SCG was very positive in its review of the NWDAP and agreed the Plan’s principles and key messages are valid now and into the future, and confirmed the relevance of its four fundamental goals: Leadership, Awareness, Mitigate negative impacts, and Monitoring & Evaluation.
A group of key stakeholders was appointed to draft the Stage 4 plan, informed by the Stage 3 Review due by 30 June. Considering its likely 10-year lifespan and its now established reputation, the new draft NWDAP will be somewhat streamlined and simplified, and could well become the model for other vertebrate pest plans.