The Victorian Coalition Government will soon commence a new wild dog community baiting program in East Gippsland.
"The program will involve Department of Primary Industries (DPI) wild dog controllers working with volunteer landowners in the Ensay area to bait adjoining public land," said State Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull.
"The other pleasing aspect of this is that DPI will now also start baiting on public land outside the established three kilometre livestock protection zone. This will see wild dog controllers working deeper into public land than before.
"This is on top of the additional ground baiting program that was announced last week in place of the proposed aerial baiting program that has been stalled by the Commonwealth Government."
Mr Bull said that while these measures provided more flexibility around dog control, it was a combination of all control measures, including trapping and shooting that was required.
Minister for Agriculture and Food security, Peter Walsh, said the additional ground baiting work is already underway in remote areas of public land that have not previously been baited, including on and off tracks.
"It comes on top of the extension of baiting efforts deeper into Crown land in the Nunniong Plateau and Deddick-Tubbut areas, and is also in addition to extra baiting that started last week in 12 new remote and hard to access locations."
“This program came about from a meeting in Ensay earlier this year where the community expressed interest in being permitted to bait on public land as well as on their own properties.
“DPI officers have worked with local residents to guide them through what is required when baiting on public land, and baiting efforts will start from next week.
“This is a sensible initiative which gives communities affected by wild dogs the opportunity to work with DPI and take greater control of baiting in their own area.”
“Wild dogs are an established predatory pest in Victoria and have devastating impacts on native fauna, livestock, and the profitability of farmers,” Mr Walsh said.
“The most effective way to manage wild dogs is to use a combination of control methods, with the community and Government working together co-operatively.”
“Work will be undertaken in the Nunniong Plateau and Deddick-Tubbut areas in response to reported persistent attacks on livestock. Planning for this work has been completed and baiting is also scheduled to begin in November this year,” Mr Walsh said.
“The Coalition Government has not given up on aerial baiting and will continue to pursue the matter with the Commonwealth,” Mr Walsh said.