The Victorian Coalition Government will increase wild dog baiting across North East Victoria and East Gippsland, Agriculture and Food Security Minister Peter Walsh said today.
The Government is implementing a recommendation from the Wild Dog Control Advisory Committee to use funding allocated to aerial baiting for additional targetted ground baiting, rather than spending it on more survey work to satisfy the Federal Labor Government.
The Commonwealth has rejected Victoria’s application for aerial baiting, which was planned to begin this month but now will not be conducted this season, despite New South Wales having a near-identical aerial baiting program already in place.
Mr Walsh said aggressive baiting campaigns were needed to reduce wild dogs, which predate native fauna and lambs.
The additional ground baiting will be on top of already increased ground baiting in North East Victoria as part of the government’s Wild Dog Management Program.
Mr Walsh said autumn was an ideal time to target wild dogs with bait, as they were more mobile during the mating season.
“Wild dogs are often visible at this time of the year as they are actively moving around looking and competing for mates,” Mr Walsh said.
“Our extra ground baiting programs during this period are designed to have maximum impact on wild dogs and provide additional protection for livestock.
“While it is frustrating that our application for aerial baiting has been denied, it is important we respond quickly and put funding to effective use.”
Mr Walsh said autumn was also a good time for landholders to increase their own efforts in protecting their properties from the impacts of wild dog activity, by conducting community baiting programs with their neighbours.
Mr Walsh said landholders could also take advantage of the Victorian Government’s fox and wild dog bounty, with the behaviour of wild dogs during the mating season making them more vulnerable to hunters.