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Beyond the Bale : June 2015
Funding by AWI to local wild dog control groups for on-ground activities to combat wild dogs is providing real results for woolgrowers across the country. Woolgrower Alan Neven of Tubbut in East Gippsland, Victoria, is a member of his local community wild dog control group, run by the Deddick River Landcare Group, which covers about 44,000 hectares of the Deddick Valley, Tubbut, Bendoc, Delegate River and Bonang areas. He works on the 1200 hectare family farm, now run by his son Phillip, on undulating country close to the Snowy River National Park. The Nevens currently run 1400 Merinos with 120 cattle. The funds provided by AWI enabled the purchase of baits for a community baiting program. The group also bought traps, and Alan was delighted to recently catch the first wild dog with one of the traps, followed up during the short time this article was being prepared by three more on his property! The number of dogs caught by traps on private and crown land is steadily increasing. “While baiting is the primary method of killing dogs on private land in the area, trapping can be useful for getting the dogs that are cunning enough to avoid the baits,” Alan said. “The funding for trap kits by AWI has proved itself to be effective on our property – which is very pleasing. “The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP Vic) wild dog controller Tom Kimber has helped us by providing training and advice, with everyone working cooperatively together.” The district historically used to carry a much larger number of sheep but over the years these numbers have dropped significantly. In 2012, the group applied for and started receiving some funds from AWI to help with community baiting and trapping. The AWI funding complements the community’s own contributions and activities by DELWP. “The AWI funding has provided a significant boost to the whole community,” said Alan’s son Philip, who is the president of the local control group. “Around Tubbut, we’ve virtually cleared up the foxes, resulting in increased lambing percentages, and we are starting to get the wild dogs under control. In Bendoc, over the past six months they’ve had some good results in reducing dogs. “This is great sheep country and there is genuine interest in increasing numbers in the area. The wild dogs have been holding us back, but with continued control efforts by producers and government agencies, on our property I plan to soon be able to get back up to about 2000 sheep and reduce our cattle to about 60.” With assistance from the AWI-funded community wild dog control coordinator David Krajca, landholder involvement in the community baiting programs is expanding the use of 1080 baiting on private land by linking many properties in coordinated autumn and spring baiting programs. “The coordinator David Krajca does a tremendous job encouraging the whole community to work together, building their confidence up to tackle the dog problem,” Alan said. David works closely with the group in planning and delivering integrated control activities in conjunction with DELWP’s wild dog control activities. AWI funding for on-ground activities in the rugged High Country of far east Gippsland in Victoria is helping communities to successfully tackle wild dog and fox attacks on sheep flocks. Alan Neven and his wife Helen laying traps, purchased with funds provided by AWI. The Nevens have been very successful at catching wild dogs with the traps. Images from a Night Cam on Alan Neven’s property at Tubbut in East Gippsland, Victoria, in early 2012 showing wild dogs amongst his flock. Since 2012 the local community wild dog control group of which Alan is a member started receiving funds from AWI for on-ground wild dog control. DOG CONTROL 30 ON FARM SUCCESS WITH TRAPS AND BAITS