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Beyond the Bale : September 2017
ones that ultimately experience the financial and emotional cost of attacks on their flocks,” Ian said. “Wild dog control has been and continues to be one of the main areas of focus for AWI. Our investment on behalf of woolgrowers has been calculated to produce a return of $8.60 for every dollar invested over the past few years. “The investment is in three main areas. Firstly, up to a million dollars a year is used to establish activities and infrastructure that help community based groups in on-going long-term wild dog control, for example by providing funding for aerial baiting, trapping workshops or canid pest ejectors. “Secondly, about another million dollars each year provides help in coordination and facilitation of wild dog control groups across all land tenures, with AWI-funded coordinators now stretching from Geraldton in WA to Longreach in central Queensland. And thirdly, about 10% of our vertebrate pest budget funds pure research into and development of new and emerging technologies to enhance producers’ abilities to control wild dogs.” TRAPPING COURSE AT MOORABIE Following the wild dog control workshop, a trapping course was held for local landholders, with the wild dog coordinators and others also participating. Two dogs were killed during the time at Moorabie with one being taken on Border Downs directly south of the venue. This was the first dog ever trapped on Border Downs, where previously there have only ever been dogs shot. The trapping course at Moorabie was part of a larger Trapper Training Program, which was being held for the second year in the area. The Moorabie course was preceded by a three-day course at Mt Jack near Wilcannia that was attended by 12 landholders. Three dogs were trapped by participants directly following the course, based solely on the skills learnt during the course. WILD DOG CONTROL WORKSHOP “Feedback from the two trapping schools was very positive with 17 out of 21 participants rating the training a full 10 out of 10, and all participants said the training sufficiently equipped them to confidently put their newly learned skills into practice, and would recommend the training to others,” Bruce said. “The structure being a mix of theory and practice was well received with a lot of interest on ecology and biology of wild dogs in relation The iconic dog fence on the NSW/South Australia border near Moorabie Station, 200km north of Broken Hill, at which a gathering of wild dog experts was held in June. PHOTO: National Wild Dog Action Plan Nick Pritchard of the 74,000 ha Moorabie Station setting up a camera on the wild dog fence. to management, especially from landholders in new or emerging wild dog control groups. Using three different trappers to deliver the course was highly regarded as were the three trappers themselves.” Nick Pritchard of the 74,000 ha Moorabie Station said the trapping course was a very worthwhile program with participants gaining skills they will now be using on a regular basis for management of wild dogs. “Since purchasing Moorabie Station seven years ago, we have been keen to learn as much about wild dogs and their control measures as possible. When the option came up to both participate in and host a trapping school at Moorabie we didn’t hesitate. We saw this as a valuable opportunity in our local fight against wild dogs,” Nick said. “We have seen a steady decline in dog numbers over recent years, largely due to the combined effort with all our neighbours and the advent of programs like the aerial baiting program. This enabled us to reintroduce Merino sheep onto Moorabie in 2014 after many years where it had been cattle only. Even with this decline in dog numbers we have shot and or trapped 15 dogs so far for 2017. “The trapping training was delivered over three intensive days, with valuable information about wild dogs and their habits, which removed a lot of the mystery about the trapping process. It was done in a very practical and professional way with a wealth of knowledge provided by the three skilled trainers. “Due to our location on the NSW, SA border, and our western boundary being the dog fence, we were also able to visit Quinyambie Station to gain a better understanding of how dogs operate in an unmanaged environment. This provided a real insight into and reinforced what we learnt in the training.” ON FARM 39
In the Shops - September 2017