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Community get behind wild dog control

Participants at a VPT courseNorth Coast Local Land Services has congratulated landholders on their commitment to working together to manage the wild dog population in the Lower Macleay.  Approximately 30 landholders from the Lower Macleay attended a community meeting at Belmore River Hall this week to discuss control techniques.

Landholders were keen to participate in coordinated ground baiting programs in that area to tackle the problem of wild dogs.

Senior Biosecurity Officer Mick Thorman and Team Leader Dean Chamberlain coordinated the meeting that, in addition to the landholders, also included National Parks and Wildlife Service, highlighting the importance of getting everyone involved.

Dean Chamberlain, said of the meeting, “It’s important for landholders to understand that wild dog control cannot be a 'one off' approach, but requires regular baiting at key seasonal periods, preferably based on a nil-tenure approach where neighbouring landholders are undertaking the control at the same time.

“We now have more than 65 coordinated groups involved in our Autumn campaign covering nearly 420 properties and 265,000 hectares of land and this coverage represents an important shift in our ability to control the wild dog population on the North Coast.

“Over the last three years we have seen more land managers getting involved in group programs, rather than just trying to tackle the problem on their own and it’s fantastic to see the Lower Macleay now taking this on board.

Mick Thorman said, “This is a very proactive and committed group and we will now work with them to provide landholder training where required, coordinate a group baiting program and then develop a local wild dog management plan which will formalise participation of stakeholders within the Lower Macleay.”

Following the meeting North Coast Local Land Services then coordinated a Vertebrate Pest Training (VPT) course at the CWA Hall in Kempsey where 26 landholders took part

Mick said, “We had landholders from Kempsey, Port Macquarie Hastings and Nambucca participate in the training and we also had one absentee landholder drive down from the Gold Coast to renew his accreditation.”

Paul Plummer who recently moved to live on a property in Kempsey, said of the training, “Prior to moving to Kempsey I lived and worked in the Northern Territory where I had experience of the impacts of wild dogs and how to control them.

“I previously held my accreditation in the NT but chose to renew this after witnessing the impacts locally.

“The training course I attended in Kempsey was far superior to the training I received in the NT and would encourage other landholders to participate.”

It is important for land managers to be trained in wild dog control techniques and North Coast Local Land Services offers regular Vertebrate Pest Training programs (VPT) across the North Coast region. The three hour VPT course, which is free to Local Land Services ratepayers, gives landholders a clear understanding of 1080 and Pindone use and the legal obligations that apply. North Coast Local Land Services also offers a two-hour Canid Pest Ejector (CPE) course that only needs to be completed once and allows land managers to add CPE’s to their wild dog control toolbox.

The training is delivered by Biosecurity Officers from North Coast Local Land Services and covers topics such as baiting techniques, toxicity, storage, transport, legislation and WH&S. On completion of the VPT course participants will be issued a certification card and remain accredited to use 1080 and Pindone for five years.

"The wider community benefit greatly from the efforts of those who are active and regularly partake in pest animal control and we will continue to support their efforts.

“It is not only agriculture that is affected by pest animals - native animals and plants also suffer at the paws and hooves of wild dogs and feral pigs." Dean concluded.

Looking to the future, spring is also a high activity time as calving gets into full swing and wild dogs begin teaching adolescents the finer points of survival, and this often involves attacks on calves and smaller livestock. Land managers should continually monitor wild dogs and carry out control if they are present and not wait for attacks on livestock or domestic pets.

All interested landholders are encouraged to contact their local North Coast Local Land Services office to find out how to be involved.

Media contact:
Dean Chamberlain, Team Leader, Invasive Species
Phone 0427 458 590

Photo captions:
Lower Macleay landholders participating in this week’s VPT course.