THE Victorian Farmers Federation has welcomed a new push from State Government to wipe out wild dogs in Northern Victoria.
The Government announced it will splash out $6.2 million over four years on a scheme to manage foxes and wild dogs, including a move to increase aerial baiting for wild dogs to twice a year.
“Producers have an ongoing battle with wild dogs attacking their livestock and this plan will help farmers reduce the impact of this menace,” VFF spokesperson Peter Star said.
“We’ve campaigned to get aerial baiting in this state and the Government’s initial efforts have worked well, so we’re very keen for them expand the scheme.”
The Government plans to drop around 4,000 fresh meat baits along 400km of public land in North East and East Gippsland areas, including at Bullhead, Burrowa, Wabba, Angora/Cobungra, Bindi and Wonangatta/Punchen Budweid.
“Aerial baiting is crucial to controlling wild dogs in remote and inaccessible breeding areas; otherwise we just end up hitting them on the periphery of these areas, not hitting at the heart of the problem,” Mr Star said.
“Farmers and their communities need aerial baiting in combination with community ground baiting programs to control these pests.”
Mr Star said aerial baiting not only benefits farmers, but also helps native fauna, such as quolls, which are under threat from wild dogs.
The Government said it will consult with affected communities in identifying areas where wild dog impacts have been reported in order to run the scheme.
The next round of aerial baiting is scheduled for autumn 2017.
More information on wild dog management and aerial baiting: www.agriculture.vic.gov.au/wilddogs