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Free courses for drought affected farmers

Farmers across the Central Tablelands are gearing up for strategic spring baiting to tackle feral pigs, wild dogs and other hungry pests on the prowl.

“It’s been a dry, hard winter and feral pigs and wild dogs are looking for food for spring litters of piglets and pups,” said Central Tablelands Local Land Services Senior Biosecurity Officer, Alistair Gordon-Smith.

“New born calves and lambs are extremely vulnerable to pest predators, so it’s timely for landholders to start planning their baiting regime now.”

As part of new drought assistance measures Local Land Services is currently offering bait chemical certification courses free to local landholders.

Landholders wanting to order 1080 and other bait products need to hold current chemical accreditation. Local Land Services holds regular 1080/Pindone and Canid Pest Ejector (CPE) training courses, and the usual charge for those courses has been dropped to help as many landholders as possible to access bait handling certification.

“We hold courses at our Bathurst office in Corporation Avenue, on the first Tuesday of every month, and courses can be organised in other towns to meet demand,” said Mr Gordon-Smith.

The next free Local Land Services chemical accreditation course will be held on Tuesday 11 September. Bookings should be made through the Bathurst Local Land Services Office on 6333 2300.

The course covers topics such as baiting techniques, toxicity, storage, transport, legislation and WH&S, with an optional Canid Pest Ejector component. Landholders who complete the course are issued with a certification card allowing them to use 1080 and Pindone on their properties for the next five years. (This certification only covers 1080 and Pindone vertebrate pesticides and does not meet the requirements for other farm chemicals.)

Broader chemical accreditation can be obtained through AQF-3 courses available through various training providers to meet the requirements for other chemical usage.

Landholders ordering 1080 baits are required to notify neighbours and place their orders at least three days prior to their planned pick up date to ensure Local Land Services has sufficient time to prepare the baits.

Local Land Services Biosecurity officers can also provide advice on planning baiting programs and other forms of pest management.

“Coordinating group control programs with your neighbours is the most effective way to tackle pest animals like feral pigs and wild dogs,” said Mr Gordon-Smith.

“Each year our biosecurity officers coordinate large numbers of group programs, and we’re always keen to help new groups to get established.”

To find out more about group control programs in your area contact your nearest Local Land Services office in Bathurst, Cowra, Lithgow, Molong, Mudgee or Orange.