Trial shows success of aerial baits

A SCIENTIFIC trial in NSW has demonstrated the effectiveness of aerial baiting in the control of wild dogs.

The trial was run in the north-east of the state and showed more than 90 per cent of wild dogs can be controlled by targeted 1080 baiting.

Principal research scientist with the Department of Primary Industries in NSW, Peter Fleming, said an optimum rate of 40 baits per kilometre delivered close to twice the level of control gained from the currently approved rate of 10 baits per kilometre.

The present baiting ratio is only 55 per cent effective.

“These results have huge and positive implications for livestock producers and wildlife managers,” Dr Fleming said.

“Based on this new evidence, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority have this month extended the permit to use 40 baits per kilometre for the next 12 months.

“Aerial baiting plays a significant role in the strategic and target specific management of wild dogs in eastern NSW and clearly use of the optimum bait rate boosts the effectiveness of baiting programs.”

The outcome of the scientific trial is good news for farmers and conservationists in Victoria with the government’s aerial baiting program soon to start.

The escalating numbers of wild dogs are decimating native animals in the bush.

Wild dogs are becoming more prevalent, particularly in the Tallangatta Valley, where farmers are reporting howling close to their properties on a daily basis.

The baiting ratio for the Victorian program is expected to be 10 per kilometre with a starting date yet to be confirmed.

Dr Fleming said in the long term the adoption of the optimum bait rate in NSW will ensure that land managers continue to get value for their expenditure and efforts.

The four-year aerial baiting trial was supported by Australian Wool Innovation, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Australian Pest Animal Research Program, Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre and NSW DPI.