Wild dog bounty to be­gin again in north­ern Vic­to­ria

Mansfield Courier - - PROPERTY -

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.

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