Bewildered SA livestock producers want wild dog funding

FARMERS in Western Australia and Victoria have been quick to congratulate their respective State Governments for pledging funding towards quelling the impact of wild dogs, but South Australian producers are seething that their own government has failed to follow suit.
Bewildered SA livestock producers want wild dog funding Bewildered SA livestock producers want wild dog funding Bewildered SA livestock producers want wild dog funding Bewildered SA livestock producers want wild dog funding Bewildered SA livestock producers want wild dog funding

Alex Paull

Last week the WA Government announced $19.94 million to support key recommendations from the WA Wild Dog Action Plan, which recognised the importance of coordinating efforts from industry, government and the community to control wild dogs.

The WA plan includes funding wild dog trappers and repairing 405km of the existing State Barrier Fence. 

And last month the Victorian Government renewed a bounty on wild dogs from early next year, as well as a commitment to a new wild dog management advisory committee.

But livestock producers in South Australia have been left bewildered at what they see as a lack of action by the South Australian Government.

While millions are being poured into wild dog funding around the country, Livestock SA president Geoff Power is calling on the SA Government to provide $300,000 to employ trappers.

“The same threat that exists in WA and Victoria exists here in SA,” Power said.

“Victoria recognises that damage caused by wild dogs costs up to $18 million per year and South Australia’s losses would be at least that, and more. 

“In fact, if the government does not pay more attention to this problem then wild dogs – which are dingoes that are interbred – will be a common sight in the Adelaide Hills.”

The SA Government recently committed $500,000 to a Koala Centre of Excellence in the Adelaide Hills region, but Power said that commitment would be counterproductive without increased funding towards wild dogs.

“Wild dogs are now causing havoc inside and outside the dog fence killing sheep, cattle and native wildlife,” he said. 

“They are on the march further south unless we do something about it.” 

SA farmers are already investing $600,000 to help control the impact of wild dogs, but Power said an $300,000 was urgently needed to employ trappers to track dogs that currently get through other lines of defence. 

“We have seen what has happened in other states – wild dogs have decimated the Queensland and WA sheep industries, particularly in the pastoral zone,” he said.

“In Qld, there are only 1.5 million sheep left when 25 years ago there was 20 million.

“In WA, there is 13 million sheep, compared with 20 million previously, but only 200,000 in the pastoral zone. 

“It’s $300,000 that we are seeking. It is not a huge sum of money to protect a significant contributor to the state’s economy in the livestock industry.”