Feedback sought on dog baiting

THE Victorian government has moved quickly to get feedback on the proposed aerial baiting of wild dogs.

On January 10 Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt anounced approval had been given for a consultation process to begin.

A revised application for aerial baiting was sent by Victoria in December.

Mr Hunt said it was sufficient for Victoria to proceed to a 20-day consultation process which began on Monday.

A spokeswoman for Victorian Agriculture Minister, Peter Walsh, said the consultation period was open for 20 business days.

She said the government’s full submission is on the Department of Environment and Primary Industries website for people to read and respond to if they wish.

The public consultation period is required under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act.

Mr Walsh announced approval for the consultation process at the recent Mountain Cattlemen’s Association gathering at Omeo.

He said the government is ready to deploy the aerial baiting of wild dogs in autumn at six sites in the North East and East Gippsland.

“The government delivered on the commitment made to farmers and land managers to submit a revised application last month,” Mr Walsh said.

He said the revised application included new information that clearly demonstrates aerial baiting would not adversely impact spotted tail quoll populations.

“This extra information includes the equivalent of 5000 days of monitoring of animal movements taken by 113 remote cameras that were operating between December 2012 and March 2013,” he said.

“Quolls were not detected in the areas monitored. The previous Labor federal government rejected Victoria’s original application on ridiculous grounds, treating this state differently to NSW where aerial baiting has been permitted.”

Mr Walsh said the government had always believed aerial baiting would provide valuable support to measures like shooting, trapping and baiting to control the destructive and costly pests.