Effective wild dog control requires an integrated approach – on both public and private land.
Department of Environment and Primary Industries Wild Dog Program Manager Michael Bretherton said on-farm management practices including baiting, trapping, shooting, exclusion fencing and good animal husbandry were all vital in wild dog control.
“The Victorian Government with the Community’s assistance is committed to reducing the impacts of wild dogs, but no single method of wild dog control is effective on its own,” Mr Bretherton said.
“On-farm management practices play an important role in this concerted effort.”
Shifting lambing and calving to paddocks away from known wild dog pathways or access points, being alert to changes in livestock behaviour and removing and destroying dead livestock promptly are just some of the animal husbandry practices that can lower the incidence of wild dog attacks.
“DEPI is working with farmers, the community, industry and across government to coordinate and put in place an effective program.”
The most effective way to reduce the impacts of wild dogs is through sustained control including community control programs with all land managers working together across private and public land, he said.
“For this program to be effective, we urge all landholders to remain vigilant to the threat of wild dogs.”
To effectively manage wild dogs, landholders should consider:
- Moving lambing and calving to paddocks away from known wild dog pathways or access points.
- Removing and disposing of deceased livestock swiftly.
- Watching for changes in livestock habits or movements and wildlife behaviour, as this may be an indication of the presence of wild dogs.
- Constructing and maintaining electric wild dog exclusion fencing, as these fences provide the best line of defence for managing wild dogs.
- Trapping and shooting used in combination with other pro-active control measures. DEPI (in conjunction with Australian Wool Innovation) can assist in training landholders in the use of traps.
- Guard animals include Marrema dogs, alpacas, llamas and donkeys. A best practice manual for the use of livestock guardian dogs produced by the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre is available from DEPI.
Mr Bretherton said reporting wild dog activity to DEPI was critical in co-ordinating control efforts.
“The most effective means of achieving a sustained reduction in wild dog impacts is through simultaneous and coordinated community baiting programs, supported by other on-farm control techniques.
“Most control tools are regulated and need to be used within the regulations and Acts that permit their use in Victoria; your local DEPI office and providers of rural services can assist in this regard.”
Remember to report wild dog activity, contact your local Senior Wild Dog Controller or DEPI on 136 186.