Feedback sought on wild dogs

NEW plans to tackle wild dogs in the North East are being unveiled at a series of public meetings which will also canvass feedback on hot spots for the feral animals.

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries began taking feedback with a workshop at Corryong yesterday. and there will be further gatherings at Walwa, Granya, Mitta and Tallangatta today and tomorrow.

The department’s statewide program manager for wild dogs, Benalla- based Michael Bretherton, said the views of landholders would be considered at the meetings as part of planning for wild dog control over the next 12 months.

“What these workshops will do is provide an opportunity for the local community to contribute their local knowledge for wild dog management,” Mr Bretherton said.

“We’re open to change based on that local input.”

The meetings follow Victorian Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh launching a new wild dog plan at Omeo last December.

At the time he said the state government was “committed to helping landholders control these vicious, destructive pests because we understand the heartache and the economic loss that they cause”.

“The plan will increase the effectiveness of our trapping program and the number of baits laid by 10 per cent to almost 20,000 next year,” Mr Walsh said.

Mr Bretherton said reports from the past 12 months would be presented and they would influence plans for the following year.

“It’s more about greater integration and co-ordination between what the community is doing and what the government is doing,” he said.

“We don’t attempt to work out how many wild dogs are out there, we’re about responding to wild dog incident reports and they’re what guide us.”

Meetings will be held today at Walwa and Granya, tomorrow at Mitta and Tallangatta and at Ovens and Whitfield on April 8.

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