24 February 2015
Keeping the foot to the pedal, is the message from Greg Mifsud, National Wild Dog Controller following the wild dog management good news stories emanating from Victoria. “I am pleased to say that a concerted effort by all stakeholders to deliver strategic and coordinated wild dog control is really starting to pay dividends with reduced stock attacks and very few wild dogs being seen on private lands in the North East and South East areas of Victoria recently. However, it must be emphasised that this hasn’t happened overnight, it has taken over four years to get to this stage with a considerable amount of dedication and hard work from a wide range of stakeholders’, said Mr Mifsud.
These results clearly show that stakeholders working collectively and using current best practice can manage the impacts of wild dogs. This has included major changes to control programs including the use of extensive ground baiting, delivery of the community wild dog baiting program on over 400,000ha of private land to compliment the government program on public lands and the introduction of aerial baiting in areas with limited access on the public –private land interface.
The approach taken in Victoria has been captured in the National Wild Dog Action Plan. It highlights the importance of having a national overarching plan which promotes and directs management using a nil or cross tenure approach, encourages capacity building amongst stakeholders to assist themselves, and encourages the development of effective local area management plans based on current best practice where all stakeholders are involved in the decision making and delivery of the program.
Mr Duncan Fraser, Chair of the National Plan’s Implementation Steering Committee said, “I believe everyone involved with wild dog management in Victoria would say it has been well and truly worth it. The fact that producers are now moving back into sheep or increasing their flock size in some regions is testament to the confidence they now have in the wild dog management program”.
Mr Fraser went on to congratulate all those who have been involved and those who are currently involved in these management plans. He emphasised that stakeholders must avoid complacency and remain vigilant and keep up the concerted management levels to stay on top of mitigating wild dog predation.