Pastoralists pleased with dog funding
North West pastoralists have welcomed a record $18.6 million investment in wild dog action over four years across WA.
Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan led a forum on September 15 with key industry stakeholders to chart the most effective expenditure of the funds.
Kimberley Pilbara Cattlemen’s Association president David Stoate said wild dogs were a significant problem for pastoralists in both regions, with significant losses occurring every year.
“Many people think that only sheep producers suffer from wild dog incursions but there are significant losses among cattle producers,” he said.
“While more needs to be done in this space, the package announced by the State Government contains a range of strategies to address the wild dog problem.”
WA has received just $2 million in Federal drought funding for wild dog action, compared to Queensland’s $12 million
Ms MacTiernan has called on the Federal Government to match the State Government’s funding commitment and to address the shortfall in WA.
The McGowan Government has already locked in $2.36 million to employ an additional eight doggers to work with biosecurity groups across the rangelands to control wild dogs over the next three years.
Another $90,000 will be invested in a veterinary graduate program to sterilise dogs in remote communities to help stop the spread of the wild dog population, with expansion of the program under consideration.
Other initiatives considered for funding at the forum include exclusion fencing and extending and repairing sections of the State barrier fence.
Ms MacTiernan said wild dogs were estimated to cause losses of $25 million a year to rangelands sheep and goat production, limiting employment opportunities.
“Recognising the seriousness of this problem, we’re taking immediate steps to support the industry through employing new doggers and funding sterilisation programs,” she said.
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