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Beyond the Bale : March 2012
26 26 SELLING MORE WOOL September 2010 BEYOND THE BALE March 2012 BEYOND THE BALE 26 ON-FARM FAST FACTS l Sheep producers living south of the Dog Fence of the SA Arid Lands region are working together in the fight against wild dogs through the Biteback program. l AWI provided $25,000 in funding in the second year of the program so that Biteback could be rolled out in the Gawler Ranges earlier than planned, and has provided $50,000 to supply freezers, traps, lures and baits. l Landholders hold meetings to map out wild dog movements, predation and current control measures and then assess the problem to devise a management plan. There is a good reason why wild dogs are near the top of AWI’s hit list. Wild dogs are estimated to cost Australian farmers $65 million in stock losses a year. Much more difficult to measure is the emotional impact on farmers and their families. Once a sheep is killed, the stress of waiting for the next attack is significant. For producers living south of the Dog Fence in the sheep pastoral zone of the SA Arid Lands region, wild dogs have become an increasing problem, with some producers reporting losses of up to 700 sheep. In 2008, sheep producers in the North Flinders region struggling to control the impact of wild dogs on their properties, approached their local community-based NRM group for help. They realised that BITING BACK AGAINST WILD DOGS COOPERATION KEY TO CONTROL FAST FACTS l AWI has funded a project initiated by the Granite Borders Landcare Committee and Tenterfield Wild Dog Control Group to help the fight against wild dogs. l A series of field days and workshops were held to inform producers and land managers about the devastation caused by the feral animals and how the problem could best be tackled. l Those who attended the field days found them beneficial and felt the information could be used to encourage others to get involved in similar programs. IIn a bid to combat wild dogs in northern NSW and southern Queensland a project has been launched by the Granite Borders Landcare Committee, which joined forces with the Tenterfield Wild Dog Control Group (TWDCG), to promote and develop a program to control the devastation caused by wild dogs. Significant changes in land ownership had been occurring throughout the greater Tenterfield area, with an increase in the number of properties producing cattle rather than sheep. These changes brought about a shift in priorities for wild dog management, with some new owners not overly concerned about the impacts of wild dogs or ignorant to the problem and the legislative requirements to control wild dogs on their properties. The AWI-funded project takes a look into the current wild dog control program and aims to strengthen the link between the 13 member groups of the TWDCG. Through a series of field days and planning workshops the project raised awareness of co-ordinated wild dog control by informing producers and land managers about current developments, movements and behaviour patterns of the pest. The three field days, held in Stanthorpe, Mingoola and Liston, informed new landholders and the public about the impact of wild dogs and the part they can play in controlling the problem. Producer Daryl Fels with Biteback project officer Lisa Stevens at a baiting session in the Flinders Ranges.