Wild dog bounty to begin again in northern Victoria
THE State Government will reinstate its wild dog bounty to northern Victoria as of 2017 in an effort to control spiralling pest numbers.
The government axed its wild dog bounty program in June 2015 in which hunters were paid $100 per head to trap and shoot the pest animal.
As of next year, Mansfield farmers will be able to claim $120 per pelt for every wild dog shot.
The Victorian Farmers Federation was among many groups who welcomed the news – announced last week.
“Wild dog attacks are a major threat to the agriculture sector – they’re not only cruel, but they reduce the ability of producers to run livestock,” VFF wild dog spokesperson Peter Star said.
“We’re pleased to see the government reinstate the bounty because last time the program ran it was extremely successful at very little cost.”
Mr Star said 587 pelts were claimed in 2013-14, which was on top of the 480 dogs caught by the government’s wild dog controllers.
“I didn’t understand why the government got rid of the bounty, considering it resulted in so many dogs being taken out of the landscape, but it’s great to see they’ve put more resources into the program for next year,” he said.
Liberal Member for Eildon, Cindy McLeish (MLA, Eildon), said she was proud her team’s effective lobbying had paid a part in the re-instatement.
“The Liberal Nationals Coalition has forced Labor’s hand to bring back the wild dog bounty,” she said.
“Labor’s policy backflip is welcome news for farmers, but is too little too late for some - Daniel Andrews’ dithering in dealing with the wild dog crisis has cost our livestock industries up to $18 million every year,” she said on her Facebook page last week.
The State Government has also committed to kick starting a new wild dog management advisory committee, with expressions of interest for the new committee to be sought from next month.
The committee will evaluate the success of the bounty after 12 months and make recommendations to the government on its future use.
Pelt collection will occur from March and October 2017 in controlled zones across northern Victoria and Gippsland.
People wanting to participate in the wild dog bounty must understand where wild dogs can be controlled in the state.