Victorian farmers fear a decision to disband an advisory committee on the wild dog control program will lead to more livestock being ‘torn to pieces’ by the feral animals.
The dogs attack thousands of animals across Australia each year,and leaving the animals to die slow deaths.
The dogs also cost the livestock industry an estimated $18m each year and wreak havoc on native animal species.
Despite years of successful work to address the problem, the Victorian Government will soon dissolve the Wild Dog Ministerial Advisory Committee, severing the only clear communication point between it and farmers on the ground.
Peter Starr from the Victorian Farmers Federation said it could undo years of progress.
Push to keep live baiting
The decision has raised concerns the Victorian Government culled the committee to appease the Animal Justice Party and the Greens.
Mr Starr said the parties had demanded to ban aerial baiting and end the use of 1080 poison.
“The dogs murder and maim native and endangered species, damage the environment,.”
He said the VFF would be lobbying government to ensure aerial baiting continued.
“It is a vital wild dog control measure and research shows that it is also extremely effective for controlling foxes.”
A ‘refocus’ of efforts
Victorian Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes confirmed the Government would continue aerial baiting.
In a statement, she said the abolition of the advisory committee was not a reduction in wild dog management.
“Landholders and other stakeholders will be engaged directly for future advice on the impact and management of wild dogs,” she said.
Mr Starr said the VFF would put together its own committee.
“We’ve got plans but we’re only as good as the people prepared to listen to us,” he said.
“We can bang on for ages but if government doesn’t take notice of what we’re doing, then we’re struggling.”