HELPING HAND: SDRC’s Craig Magnussen injecting baits with 1080 for landholders Renelle Ring and John Box.
HELPING HAND: SDRC’s Craig Magnussen injecting baits with 1080 for landholders Renelle Ring and John Box. Linda Mantova

More funds for control of wild dogs

A CRITICAL 14km stretch of Stanthorpe's wild dog spur fence will be electrified as the Southern Downs Regional Council puts $43,400 of state government funding into controlling the feral menace.

The latest financial shot comes courtesy of the State Government, which recently allocated a total of $680,000 to 14 regional councils and industry groups to help deliver wild dog surveillance and management programs across Queensland.

SDRC environmental services manager Tim O'Brien said locally the money would be spent electrifying a critical section of the spur fence along the western boundary of Sundown National Park.

"We will also be installing remote cameras, surveillance equipment and a remote baiting station with the funding as well," Mr O'Brien said.

"Council opted to electrify a section of the spur fence after the success Goondiwindi Regional Council had with a similar project.

"The boundary of Sundown National Park is considered a critical and at the moment we have problems with deer and pigs making holes in the fence, which then allows dogs through."

The latest funding injection comes as the SDRC released figures showing $33,050 was spent on wild dog bounties during the past financial year.

A breakdown of the data shows 325 adult wild dogs were brought into the council under the $100/head bounty scheme during the 2012-2013 period.

Bounties on a further 11 pups were claimed under the council's $50/head scheme.

The figures represent a decline in wild dog numbers on the previous financial year when $36,000 bounties were claimed on 366 adult dogs.

Annually the SDRC spends more than $1.5 million dollars on pest control, including contributions to the rabbit control fence, two wild dog control fences at Killarney and Stanthorpe and a compulsory research and development payment to the state government.

Mr O'Brien said the budget also included staff costs, plant and equipment hire and chemicals for declared plant and animal control.

This week SDRC mayor Peter Blundell welcomed the additional funding from state, describing it as a valuable contribution in a long running battle.

"There is no doubt funds spent on wild dog baiting and fences is extremely valuable

to the livestock industry," Cr Blundell said.

"We need to prevent the free range movements of wild dogs and fund control programs.

"And we also acknowledge and encourage landholders who play their part in pest control measures in partnership with council."

Meanwhile Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry John McVeigh has praised councils, like the SDRC, for their commitment to fighting wild dogs.

"In May we offered significant funding for councils and industry to target wild dogs in pastoral and semi-rural areas," Mr McVeigh said.

"There was a strong response to this offer, underlining how serious local governments and their communities are taking this problem.

"The key to controlling wild dogs across such vast areas is co-ordination.

"Ideally, all councils should be using resources and strategies to ensure a consistent approach.

"All of our hard work is undone if wild dog are not managed in adjoining council areas."

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