The Andrews Labor Government will establish a new Ministerial Advisory Committee on wild dog management and run a bigger, better bounty from next year.
Wild dogs create a significant challenge for land managers and are estimated to cost Victoria’s livestock industry up to $18 million every year.
The new Wild Dog Management Advisory Committee will be chaired by Member for Eastern Victoria, Harriet Shing, and will have up to six additional members representing a cross-section of stakeholders.
The new committee’s input will complement the work of the Wild Dog Action Plan Delivery Group, which is tasked with monitoring implementation of the Action Plan for Managing Wild Dogs in Victoria.
In recognition of the role hunting can play in supporting the management of wild dogs, a bounty of $120 will be introduced. Collection of skins from within control zones in Northern Victoria and Gippsland will occur between March and October 2017, in addition to the $10 fox bounty.
The wild dog control program also includes measures to protect dingoes – who play an important role in the natural environment controlling both foxes and feral cats – such as 3km buffer zones on public land.
The Advisory Committee will evaluate the use of the bounty after 12 months, and evaluate buffer zones to ensure they continue to balance dingo protection and prevention of stock losses from dog attacks.
The new measures follow an independent evaluation of Victoria’s wild dog management program, which also includes poison baiting, trapping, exclusion fencing, hunting and appropriate animal husbandry.
Expressions of interest for membership of the new advisory committee will be sought next month.
Those wishing to participate in the wild dog bounty must understand where wild dogs may be controlled in Victoria. Detailed information will be available on the Agriculture Victoria website: www.agriculture.vic.gov.au.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford
“Farmers and landholders tell us time after time that foxes and wild dogs are a huge issue for them.”
“We’re supporting farmers across regional Victoria with a comprehensive suite of measures which, importantly, gives local communities a voice on how it should be managed.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing
“The stress, stock loss and costs that wild dogs cause for producers in Gippsland, North East and North West Victoria is enormous.”
“Community input, knowledge and engagement are crucial in tackling wild dog populations and reducing the damage they cause.”
“This Committee will build on what’s already been done as part of an integrated approach to wild dog management.”