LANDHOLDERS are staying one step ahead of feral pests on the Western Downs.
It’s been one of the biggest collaborative projects of its kind: to combat the problem of feral pests across one of Australia’s agricultural heartlands, and Western Downs landholders are thrilled to be chalking up the wins.
Western Downs Regional Council spokesperson for environment and planning, Cr Andrew Smith said the Pests, Partnerships and People Power in the Western Downs program, funded under the Queensland Feral Pest Initiative, was on track for another record feral pig cull across the region.
The success follows on from the award-winning 2016 campaign that saw a massive 11,000 feral pigs destroyed.
“The damage pests such as feral pigs and wild dogs do to crops and livestock is enormous and it’s only by banding together in a program such as this that we can manage those impacts,” Cr Smith said.
“Our current program involves 555 landholders, and that’s given us a sweeping effect across the district that’s proven really efficient.
“To date, we’ve destroyed 6233 pigs and 344 wild dogs and we are only halfway through.
“It’s been a huge success for the whole of the Western Downs and it’s an improved result of where we were at the same halfway point in our last initiative.”
Landholder Tristan Nitschke of the Me and arr a-Hanna ford Condamine Pest Management Group said the initiative was invaluable to an agricultural hub such as the Western Downs.
“Key to the success of this project is the participation of landholders and it’s good to see people getting on board,” he said.
“We’ve had very good support from the council and other groups and stakeholders as well.
“Feral pigs and wild dogs cause huge economic loss and there’s also an underlying biosecurity risk for livestock producers as well so we really hope this program will continue.
“It’s reduced the pig
❝It’s only by banding together in a program such as this that we can manage those impacts. — Cr Andrew Smith
problem in the Me and arr a Hanna ford area to the point where it’s now manageable, and that’s made a huge difference to livelihoods of farmers.”
The Western Downs region has led the way with feral pest management, achieving some of the best results in
Queensland thanks to a strategic approach that combines aerial shoots, trapping and surveillance of problem pests.
PATH OF DESTRUCTION: Feral pigs on the Western Downs in Queensland.