MPs join wild dog fight

By Rodney Woods

The Victorian Government is not doing enough to eradicate the threat of wild dogs in the Hume region, according to the chairman of the Cheshunt Wild Dog League.

Terry Ring, from Upper Ryan’s Creek, along with three other members from the group discussed the issue with state Nationals MPs Steph Ryan and Peter Walsh last week and have contacted Jaclyn Symes’ office to raise their concerns with both major parties in the area.

‘‘No, they are not doing enough at this point. There’s no other way of putting it,’’ Mr Ring said of the Victorian Government’s handling of the issue.

‘‘We went in to the meeting (with Ms Ryan and Mr Walsh) with our major concern being that the system as it currently stands is not working.

‘‘First you have got to understand that there are a series of wild dog zones. The Hume region consists of eight zones.

‘‘The reason the system is not working is there are eight zones with six permanent wild dog controllers working in those eight zones.

‘‘What we see as an absolute necessity is there needs to be one permanent wild dog controller in each zone and in bigger zones, like the Ovens, we are asking for two as it was approximately five years ago.’’

Mr Ring said plugging holes was not working.

‘‘If there is an issue in one of the zones without a wild dog controller, a wild dog controller is taken out of his zone to plug a hole and then he is not there if there are issues in his area,’’ he said.

‘‘We can’t fault what they are doing. They just can’t do the job they want to do.

‘‘This is where it is all falling down.’’

Mr Ring said issues had been constant on one particular farm, especially in the past 14 months.

‘‘On one particular property in the last 14 months there have been nine attacks on livestock where 15 have been killed and 18 maimed.

‘‘Over the last couple of years the problem has increased quite dramatically.

‘‘An example of that is on and within 2km to 3km of our property three dogs have been shot and 11 others trapped in the last three months.

‘‘It’s the worst I’ve seen in the 33 years here.’’

Mr Walsh said the discussions were beneficial.

‘‘Hearing from north-east farmers today has reinforced to me the need for increased control as well as input from affected landholders,’’ Mr Walsh said.