Wild dog’s are a farmers worst nightmare. Stock losses are on the increase and farms are under pressure like never before.
The Victorian State Government will reinstate its wild dog bounty in an effort to control pest numbers.
The government axed its wild dog bounty program in June 2015 in which hunters were paid $100 per head to trap and shoot the pest animal.
Pressure from affected farmers saw Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford announce a “bigger, better bounty” of $120 in Northern Victoria and Gippsland between March and October 2017.
The reinstated bounty comes six months after the Minister announced an extension to wild dog aerial baiting programs and an existing fox bounty in April.
Ms Pulford said wild dog control relied on “a combination of measures” including baiting, trapping and the bounty.
In an interview on October 17, Deakin University ecologist Euan Ritchie told ABC Gippsland “bounties fail” because they are unable to reduce numbers and break breeding patterns and they were ineffective in large and remote areas.
But Ms Pulford dismissed this criticism and said there was a role for hunters “in a suite of measures”.
“I would suggest to you that none of the [control] measures work in isolation,” she said.
“But we’re not proposing to use any of them in isolation.”
Sheep and cattle producer Simon Turner farms at Bindi, near Swifts Creek in the East Gippsland high country.
Mr Turner is a former Wild Dog Ministerial Advisory Committee member and he welcomed the reinstatement of the wild dog bounty.
Mr Turner said it was excellent news.
“It’s something that we thought probably would happen anyway,” he said.
“The current government was reviewing the whole process and withdrew the program for a while, and to their credit they’ve seen the value in the program.”