FEDERAL Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce will raise the issue of progressing Victoria’s application for aerial baiting of wild dogs with his parliamentary colleague, Environment Minister Greg Hunt.
Last month, Mr Joyce committed to providing his assistance to get an aerial baiting program started in Victoria.
“I appreciate the concerns of many primary producers about the impacts of wild dogs at both the individual producer level and the industry level,” Mr Joyce said.
“I have personally experienced the significant economic and emotional impacts of dog attacks on stock.
“Our farmers are best placed to manage their businesses and I believe the government should allow them to make decisions about the management of feral pests.”
It is now 11 years since 400 people attended a national wild dog summit in Wodonga.
At the 2002 meeting seven motions were offered with the primary aim of reintroducing aerial baiting to curb the marauding pests in their breeding grounds in all states and territories.
More than a decade has passed; aerial baiting has not been reintroduced in Victoria and both wild dog numbers and stock attacks have continued to escalate.
The second motion passed at the 2002 summit called on all governments to enforce laws that all public land managers be responsible, transparent and openly accountable for the control of wild dogs and vermin living and breeding on their land.
Another motion passed unanimously at the forum called for the formation of a federal ministerial committee to ensure consistency of wild dog programs between states and territories.
Four years after the summit the federal government threatened economic sanctions against the states unless they stepped up their campaigns to eradicate feral animals.
Agriculture Minister Peter McGauran appeared ready to adopt the key recommendations of a parliamentary inquiry that found all governments, including the Commonwealth, needed to do more to combat the pest.
He was also considering setting up a national agency to co-ordinate control efforts.