The protection of Gippsland sheep flocks against wild dog attacks has been further boosted with an extra community baiting co-ordinator in the region as part of a three-year project.
Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull welcomed the Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) funding and said the co-ordinator would complement activities undertaken by the Department of Primary Industries (DPI).
“The addition of this AWI co-ordinator will assist sheep producers to develop and implement community baiting programs aimed at reducing the impact of wild dogs,” Mr Bull said.
“By conducting baiting at a community level and timing it prior to lambing and other seasonal events, control activities will have the greatest impact on wild dogs.” Mr Bull said Gippsland’s wild dog baiting community co-ordinator position was being shared between Brian Dowley and David Krajca.
“They will assist the community to develop and co-ordinate baiting programs, ensuring these programs are co-ordinated with local wild dog control activities undertaken by DPI,” Mr Bull said.
“Mr Dowley and Mr Krajca will also organise training for participants to gain the necessary accreditation to use 1080 wild dog bait products.”
Baiting is part of an integrated control program undertaken by producers including exclusion fencing, hunting and the use of guardian animals to protect livestock.
During the Spring Community Baiting Program in the Ensay, Swifts Creek, Omeo and Benambra areas, 45 producers placed 4,500 predator baits over 61,000 hectares of private land to control wild dogs.
“Many producers are already seeing improvements from the baiting with less dog activity in some areas, but baiting and trapping programs must be maintained to ensure success is achieved over the entire landscape,” Mr Bull said.
Bestwool/Bestlamb (BWBL) president Jason Trompf said thanks to State Government and AWI funding, BWBL was continuing to improve the productivity of sheep producers.
“Through wild dog producer groups and co-ordinators we can extend our support and make a difference to producers,” Mr Trompf said.