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Wild Dog Control Leaves Farmers $19,000 Better Off

14 October 2014

AUSTRALIA – Wild dogs are being controlled through community projects across southern Australia, saving money for many producers.

The Community Wild Dog Control Initiative has invested A$7 million since 2009 across 88 local groups, with one sub-set seeing a 70 per cent reduction in stock losses.

At an average replacement cost of A$86 per head, this equates to $19,000, according to the Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), organisers of the initiative.

The groups witnessed stock losses plummet from an average of 310 per farmer to 86.

Described as the ‘scourge’ of sheep farmers, wild dogs have led to destocking and falling numbers.

However, a survey of over 2200 operations found that a third were going to increase headage, with over half feeling that their personal wellbeing and the surrounding biodiversity had improved.

National Wild Dog Facilitator Greg Misfud said: "It has really provided a well-deserved boost for community groups across the country; from providing the catalyst for new groups to get going and commence community control efforts in regions where wild dogs are an emerging problem to really providing genuine on-ground support for wild dog control in areas where they have been an ongoing problem for some time."

He urged farmers to work cooperatively with groups and neighbours and to check whether all regional and state funded projects were being taken advantage of.

General manager of AWI research, Dr Paul Swan, emphasised how important controlling ‘one of the greatest threats’ to sheep and wool is.

“We are starting to see positive results across wide areas,” said Dr Swan. “However, while we should commend the efforts of the many contributors to these on-ground efforts, we should make no mistake: there is a long way to go."

TheSheepSite News Desk