NWDAP provides ideal framework for tackling feral pig problem

The framework established under the National Wild Dog Action Plan is ideal for tackling the emerging feral pig problem in Victoria, according to the Plan’s Management Coordinator Greg Mifsud.

Mr Mifsud told landholders at a pest animal management expo in the Upper Murray that existing wild dog and community groups could be used under the National Feral Pig Taskforce to deliver strategic and targeted control programs on private and public land to address the emerging feral pig problem.

The National Wild Dog Action Plan’s performance as a blueprint strategy for wild dog management promoting evidence-based, best practice tools and methods aimed at protecting agriculture, the environment and community wellbeing is well documented.

The Plan’s principles are implemented by the National Management Coordinator along with the peak industry organisations, state farming bodies and stakeholders.

 “I see lots of synergies with feral pigs, which are an evolving pest issue similar to where wild dogs were 12 years ago, but with better communication between the key stakeholders and an understanding of the need for coordinated management,” Mr Mifsud said.

“There is a real opportunity to use the same process we use for wild dogs with the zone control and Landcare groups already in operation benefiting from a wild dog and fox management in an integrated approach.

“Going forward, it gives us the framework for a similar approach to get on top of the feral pig problem before it becomes a widespread issue.

“Through DELWP and Agriculture Victoria, we can start to implement some of those feral pig management programs using the same structures and community groups in the wild dog space.”

Agriculture Victoria hosted the pest animal management expos at Cudgewa, Whitfield, Tubbut and Buchan in June.

Mr Mifsud said from a wild dog management perspective, the Victoria Wild Dog Program was one of the most successful in the country.

“The nil tenure approach we have delivered over the 10 years has resulted in a 70 per cent decline on stock attacks across the affected regions,” he said.

“The co-operative approach has led to the introduction of aerial baiting, ground baiting and the integration between primary producers and public land managers is the showcase in terms of what effective management looks like.

“The integration of those control tools and the community effort working with the Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning has generated that reduction in impact.”

Agriculture Victoria Agricultural Recovery Manager for North East Kylie Macreadie said issues around pest animals had been raised by landholders during bushfire recovery had initiated the pest management expos.

Guest speakers included Victorian Wild Dog and Fox Bounty Coordinator Rosie Gillies, National Feral Pig Taskforce Coordinator Dr Heather Channon, National Fox and Feral Cat Coordinator Gillian Basnett, and Victorian Feral Pig Coordinator Sam Armstrong.

There were also presentations by Agriculture Victoria, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Parks Victoria, Victoria Police, Catchment Management Authorities and Landcare, along with pest management organisations and suppliers with information and demonstrations on trapping, baiting and fencing.

Watch a video on the Victoria’s wild dog community program here.