Protecting South Australia’s $4.3 billion livestock industry from the threat of wild dogs remains a high priority for the State Government.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regions Tim Whetstone said in the nine months since the State Government introduced a trapping program as part of its broader wild dog control program, results were already being noticed inside the Dog Fence.
“Already there has been 223 dogs controlled, 39 properties supported and approximately 260 hours of training undertaken,” said Minister Whetstone.
“However for this success to continue and for the government to best direct these resources, it is critical that land managers across the state keep us up to date on wild dog sightings. Other relevant information such as whether the dogs are impacting on your livestock is also important intelligence in planning effective wild dog control.
“For instance, just before the trappers hit the ground in mid-2018 an emergency aerial baiting program targeted known wild dog hotspots. This program relied on the wild dog reports from land managers to ensure these baits were delivered strategically, efficiently, and in the right places.”
Livestock SA President Joe Keynes said an integrated approach was key to wild dog control.
“Trapping and baiting are important, as is ensuring the Dog Fence remains an effective barrier to stop the spread of wild dogs south,” said Mr Keynes.
“It’s great to hear of the success of trapping programs but it’s also vital to ensure degraded sections of the fence are repaired and replaced.”
Mr Keynes said the organisation would continue working with Minister Whetstone on this issue.
He encouraged producers to keep authorities up-to-date on wild dog sightings.
“It’s important that we keep the department informed to ensure they are aware of current wild dog numbers so controls can continue to be rolled out in these areas,” said Mr Keynes.
“A simple and easy way to do this can be by using the Wild Dog Scan app.
“Natural Resource Management (NRM) staff across the state are well-placed and available to assist producers in learning how to use the app. You can google WildDogScan and there is also a video tutorial on how to use the app available on the website.”
The integrated wild dog initiative, which involves trapping, baiting and shooting, along with ongoing Dog Fence maintenance, has been developed in collaboration with stakeholders including pastoralists, the South Australian Wild Dog Advisory Group, the South Australian Sheep Advisory Group, NRM Boards, the Dog Fence Board, Livestock SA, the Australian Government, Australian Wool Innovation and the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions.