18 March 2016
The National Wild Dog Action Plan (NWDAP) welcomes the recent announcement of a joint Australian-Queensland Government offer of more than $5.2 million to assist landholders in Central Western Queensland to construct cluster fencing and complete aerial baiting, in an ongoing effort to manage wild dog populations and protect livestock.
This announcement from Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, and Queensland Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Leanne Donaldson emphasises the importance of a national, collaborative, and consultative approach to the management of wild dogs.
Wild dogs impose substantial costs on cattle, sheep and goat industries. It is conservatively estimated that they can cost between $44 and $66 million each year in livestock loss, disease transmission, and management costs. The social impact on communities and emotional distress of individuals due to wild dog attacks is just as significant.
NWDAP Steering Committee Chair, Duncan Fraser responded to the funding offer, saying “The announcement is very welcome and shows how State and Federal Governments can work together with local producers and land managers to reduce the losses and costs from wild dog predation. The National Wild Dog Action Plan supports a multi-pronged approach to reduce wild dog impacts which includes the funding of fencing, baiting and monitoring. The figure of $66 million in losses is now thought to be conservative, as the calculation was done in 2009 and prices for livestock have changed greatly since then”.
Ivan Naggs, a member of the NWDAP Stakeholder Group and Queensland cattle producer, also responded in saying “Fencing has proved to be a valuable tool to block the menacing waves of wild dogs; with follow-up baiting and trapping to keep protected properties productive. We need every head of sheep and cattle to survive to meet the supply expectations of our markets. This package of funding will give these Queensland graziers long-sought peace of mind about the safety and welfare of their livestock”.
Adopting best practice approaches in planning for and using control tools assists safe, humane, efficient and efficacious wild dog management and NWDAP welcomes funding to this vital area.