VICTORIAN landholders are being reminded to report wild dog incidents in the coming months as activity is expected to increase.
Dogs move around more in spring with their pups and information on sightings is crucial to control efforts, according to Michael Bretherton, the biosecurity operations manager with the Department of Environment and Primary Industries in the state’s east.
“We need people to be vigilant in reporting wild dog activity to their local DEPI senior wild dog controller at this time of year to assist the planning of control activities, such as baiting and trapping,” Mr Bretherton said.
“When attacks or sightings are reported, they are put in our wild dog activity database to inform on-ground control actions and to monitor the effectiveness of the wild dog control program.”
After receiving a wild dog incident report, dog controllers decide on an appropriate response.
Mr Bretherton said in the past financial year there were 607 reports of activity across Gippsland and the North East.
A total of 494 involved stock that had been harassed, maimed or killed, which triggered a priority response by the department.
More than 18,000 baits were laid in 2012-13 by the department in addition to the 25,000 baits that community wild dog control groups deployed.
There were 449 dogs trapped by department staff during that period.
Mr Bretherton said since the fox and wild dog bounty began in October 2011 hunters have handed in a total of 760 wild dog pelts and been paid $54,600.
“We are not able to get rid of all wild dogs, but by working with the community and landholders we can minimise the impact they have on livestock,” he said.
“Community wild dog control spring baiting programs have also just kicked off and baits are now available, free of charge, for those involved.
“These programs involve landowners working together at a local level to co-ordinate baiting efforts on both private and public land.”
There are 15 community wild dog groups with six in the North East.