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Autumn baiting campaign wraps up

Central Tablelands Local Land Services annual autumn wild dog baiting program has just been completed with farmers and government agencies joining forces to tackle the wild dog problem across the region.

Aerial drops coordinated by Local Land Services spread a total of 18,300 baits in hilly and inaccessible country managed by National Parks, State Forests and Crown Lands land, as well as privately owned farms.

Meanwhile landholders across a total of 265 privately owned properties also laid 16,400 ground baits in coordination with the aerial bait drops.

Additionally, contract trappers have been targeting problem dogs in the Hargraves, Hill End and Turondale areas and in the eastern ranges of the Central Tablelands region.

“We have had a lot of reports of sheep being killed, mauled, and maimed, and we’re now hearing about a lot of calf losses,” reported Local Land Services Biosecurity Officer, Brendon Stubbs, who suspects that as more farmers move out of sheep, the dogs will increasingly attack young cattle as they search for an alternative food source.

Dogs are spreading to new areas where they haven’t previously been reported, according to Central Tablelands Local Land Services Team Leader for Invasive Species & Plant Health Tim Seears,

“Landholder participation in strategic baiting has also been increasing every year, with more and more people joining up to new pest control groups that have been established in the last five years targeting wild dogs,” he said.

Landholder Bruce Drakeford is one of the many farmers who has joined a wild dog control group and took part in the autumn baiting program.

“The individual can’t control dogs on their own, it has to be a joint effort by everybody concerned. Every landholder that owns stock should be involved in trying to do something about the dogs because they’re only going to get worse,” said Bruce.

Tim Seears said the assistance of landholders like Bruce Drakeford is vital for the success of wild dog control efforts.

“I’d particularly like to say a big thank you to the group coordinators who do so much work to help us out in running the baiting programs and to get their neighbours and other landholders involved.”

“We’ll be carrying out follow up baiting in late winter and early spring and we look forward to continuing to work with all the landholders who have taken part in the autumn campaign,” he said.

Landholders with concerns about wild dogs are urged to contact their nearest Local Land Services office for advice and support, and to join a pest control group in their local area.