Baiting program helps fight wild dogs, pigs
BEN Cory would like more Southern Downs landholders to become involved in the council wild dog, fox and feral pig baiting program which took place in the region last week.
The local cattle and sheep producer is one of three co-ordinators elected by the Southern Downs Regional Council (SDRC) Wild Dog Advisory Group, which was formed almost two years ago.
Mr Cory operates his family's 1214 ha Warwick property, as well as a further 1214ha in the Dalveen district, and has had his fair share of wild dog problems over the years.
He co-ordinated the Risdon/Murray Bridge baiting station last Thursday, where 20 landholders received free baits from SDRC local law officers (pest management) James Eastwell and Craig Magnussen.
The baits, supplied by John Dee, and injected with 1080, supplied by the council, were laid on properties across the shire last week.
Mr Cory said he was appreciative of the continuing support of John Dee and Carey Brothers, Warwick, in supplying meat for the baiting program.
"The council's baiting program is a very important one in this region, with the threat of wild dogs on grazing stock ever increasing," he said.
"The program has been going for a number of years, and it's great that council has come on board."
Mr Cory said the challenge was however to get as many landholders involved as possible.
"There is still a lack of understanding of what wild dogs do, and lack of responsibility by some landholders. It is their responsibility to control pests on their land and dogs know no boundaries," he said.
"We have tried to make it easier for land holders by providing the baits.
"We really need everyone involved as we don't want to leave corridors for the dogs to travel through."
Over the years, Mr Cory has lost countless head of stock to wild dogs, including sheep and young calves.
"We've also encountered dog bites on weaner cattle and lost many sheep.
"One of the problems is that the wild dogs are brazen and quiet and not really frightened by man," Mr Cory said.
"On our Dalveen property, the lady who rents our house had a wild dog on her veranda at 2am one morning and had to let a gunshot out to scare it off," he said.
"There is lots of close contact between humans and wild dogs nowadays and more and more stories similar to that.
"Human safety is a big issue in closer-settled areas, as the dogs are so quiet now."
Another landholder to receive his baits last Thursday was John Evans, of Rookery Nook, Loch Lomond.
He has participated in shire baiting program on several occasions and feels it is important that all neighbouring properties take part, especially when the baits are free.
"It's just about the only service we get from our rates," Mr Evans said.
Liam O'Dea, of Baramula, Elbow Valley, has been taking part in the program since its inception, and feels his young calves are always at risk of dog attack.
"We have had no recent attacks on our cattle that I know of but if a baby calf is taken you have no way of knowing - you might see a cow calling out and bagged up but you have to be out checking your cattle pretty regularly," Mr O'Dea said.
"For some years I was worried about my calving percentages.
" I thought it was a management problem but the problem was the wild dogs," he said.
SDRC manager of environmental services Tim O'Brien said council had recently received a grant of $47,000 from the state government to help with the control of wild dogs.
He said that money would be put towards the part electrification of the wild dog fence in the Stanthorpe region, a dry storage facility for maintenance baits, the bulk buy of baits, and cameras to monitor wild dog activity.
Mr O'Brien said there were a lot of young dogs and foxes at the moment and the council would do another round of baiting on September 18-20.
"It is thought that a lot of foxes take up these baits before the dogs do and that's why we are doing a second round of baiting in a month's time to get the wild dogs," Mr O'Brien said.
"The number of baits per landholder depends on the individual and the size of the property.
"We rely on the land managers to know their properties and know the area they want covered."
Mr O'Brien agreed the more landholders involved in the program the better.
"They can get pig-strength baits if they want, and then come along in a month's time and get dog baits," he said.
"Pig-strength baits are extremely effective on wild dogs and foxes however wild dog strength baits are not effective on pigs."
During the program, baiting stations are located at Glenlyon, Pikedale, Wallangarra, Eukey, Goldfields, Braeside, Dalveen, Risdon/Murray Bridge, Greymare, Karara, Leyburn, Willowvale/Bony Mountain, Goomburra, Maryvale, Upper Swanfels, Freestone, and Killarney.
For more details, contact SDRC pest management officers on 07 4661 0300.
Would you get involved with feral animal baiting?
This poll ended on 27 August 2014.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.