Dog plan may help feral pig control

National feral animal management co-ordinators Greg Mifsud, Gillian Basnett and Heather Channon spoke at the pest animal management expo last month.

The National Wild Dog Action Plan framework is ideal for tackling the emerging feral pig problem in Victoria, the plan’s management co-ordinator Greg Mifsud told a pest animal management expo recently.

The National Wild Dog Action Plan is a strategy for wild dog management promoting evidence-based, best practice tools and methods aimed at protecting agriculture, the environment and community wellbeing.

Mr Mifsud said there were synergies between the wild dog management framework and other pest species, with communication between the key stakeholders and an understanding of the need for co-ordinated management.

“There is a real opportunity to use the same process we use for wild dogs with the zone control and Landcare groups already in operation benefiting from a wild dog and fox management in an integrated approach,” he said.

“Going forward, it gives us the framework for a similar approach to get on top of the feral pig problem before it becomes a widespread issue.

“Through DELWP and Agriculture Victoria, we can start to implement some of those feral pig management programs using the same structures and community groups in the wild dog space.”

National Feral Cat and Fox co-ordinator Gillian Basnett said the success of the NWDAP and its co-ordinated approach to wild dog management provided an excellent example of what could be achieved with an integrated pest management approach in terms of using all available tools to best effect.

“That is farmers, land managers, pest controllers and community groups talking and working together and where multiple species are targeted,” Ms Basnett said.

“When talking to participants at the pest animal management expos it was this success, along with the well-established relationships between communities and government agencies, that made people more receptive to the possibility and need to manage other pest species such as feral pigs, foxes and feral cats.”

Mr Mifsud said from a wild dog management perspective, the Victoria Wild Dog Program was one of the most successful in the country.

“The nil tenure approach we have delivered over the 10 years has resulted in a 70 per cent decline on stock attacks across the affected regions,” he said.

Agriculture Victoria hosted the pest animal management expos at Cudgewa, Whitfield, Tubbut and Buchan in June.