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Beyond the Bale : September 2017
Richard Wilson with his son Jed run 9,000 Merino breeding ewes and 500 breeding cattle on their 120,000-hectare ‘Yalda Downs’ property, near White Cliffs, 335 km north east of Broken Hill. They had been farming cereals in South Australia before the move across the border four years ago by three generations of the family: Richard and his wife Shirley, his son Jed and partner Stacey with their now three children Clancy, Indi and Charlie. While ‘Yalda Downs’ is managed by his son Jed, straight after the move Richard took on the task of seeking out information about wild dog problems and control in the area. He found joining the BARG local Landcare group was a good way to be involved; he received a lot of advice from neighbours and the Landcare group, which has helped him become confident that local landholders are on the right track. “The BARG group has a well-established management program involving about 40 properties and I’m very happy with what I’ve experienced throughout my involvement to date,” Richard said. A COMMUNITY RESPONSIBILITY While the area doesn’t see a lot of wild dogs, and the number of foxes has dropped off, Richard thinks it important to continue with organised baiting. “We need to be part of the overall program, where everyone is baiting at a similar time. It’s a community responsibility to be part of the organised initiative,” he said. Richard finds it disappointing when landholders take the attitude that someone else is baiting and so they don’t need to. “Absentee land owners who don’t do baiting are very frustrating for us, and unfortunately baiting is not compulsory. “As you get further away from the dog fence, I feel people believe there is not as big a problem. Often they don’t recognise the problem until they start to see the impact on lambing percentage. “It doesn’t take much to justify the baiting of foxes and dogs when running livestock enterprises.” CURRENT MANAGEMENT The BARG group undertakes a spring and autumn baiting program. This includes an aerial baiting program conducted with the Local Land Services (LLS) for non-accessible areas in addition to ground baiting. “Aerial baiting for inaccessible areas has also been one of the greatest things implemented. We have a lot of areas inaccessible by vehicle,” Richard said. When woolgrowers Richard and Jed Wilson and their families moved from South Australia to a new property north-east of Broken Hill in 2013, one of the first things Richard did was join the Barrier Area Rangecare Group (BARG) local Landcare group that undertakes wild dog control in the area. FAST FACTS • Woolgrower Richard Wilson got on the front foot in combatting wild dogs and foxes on his family’s new property by joining his local wild dog control group. • An AWI-funded wild dog coordinator in the region works with woolgrowers, livestock producers and other key stakeholders to help them achieve long term on-the-ground control of wild dogs. • AWI has provided direct assistance to the wild dog control group by funding, for example, the purchase of freezers, so meat for baiting is accessible, and therefore lay a secure foundation for long-term pest animal control. JOINING WILD DOG CONTROL GROUPS A COMMUNITY RESPONSIBILITY 40 ON FARM
In the Shops - September 2017