Wild dogs still a real threat

THE Hume Livestock Health and Pest Authority is urging landholders to be vigilant with reports on wild dog sightings to assist in curbing their impact.

The authority’s general manager, Ray Willis, said yesterday it was still receiving reports of stock losses on farms despite good trapping results in recent years.

“The authority is currently trapping 60 to 80 wild dogs per year and most notably a problem dog has recently been trapped in the Bogandyra area,” he said.

“Compared with stock losses observed in 2000, livestock losses have been reduced by up to 80 per cent as a direct result of the co-operative wild dog management plans managed by the Hume LHPA with co-operation of woolgrowers and other agencies,” Mr Willis said.

Mr Willis said wild dog activity was still prevalent, but the fight has been assisted by funding from Australian Wool Innovation last year.

It built on the authority’s financial commitment of employing trappers, who work in collaboration with landholders and are the key to community-based wild dog management plans, he said.

“Producers are telling us that they’re supportive of our efforts in assisting them to control wild dogs and that we need to maintain this support as continual sheep losses are affecting production.

“For our activities to be efficient and effective, we need landholders to immediately report all wild dog activity and any information relating to wild dogs to their local ranger or office,” he said.

“Even if wild dogs are not causing direct damage on your land, they will have some negative impact for someone else in your local community.

“The AWI funding initiative aims to help local growers rebuild their sheep flocks and increase wool production following recent significant wild dog activity.”

A survey on wild dog activity remains open until April 15.

The survey is a requirement of AWI funding and aims to determine if there is a positive impact of the wild dog control work.

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