Wild dog support increase
Producers get a helping hand
LIVESTOCK producers in north and northwest Queensland now have access to a wild dog specialist to help reduce the impact of wild dogs under a new project co-funded by Meat and Livestock Australia.
The project has seen well-known pest management co-ordinator Brett Carlsson appointed as senior wild dog co-ordinator for North and Northwest Queensland, based in Cairns.
Recent estimates of the impact of wild dogs in Queensland are near $100 million.
The new role is part of an overall project being funded in a partnership between the Queensland Government’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, AgForce, MLA Donor Company, Australian Wool Innovation and the western Queensland regional bodies of Remote Area Planning and Development Board and South West Regional Economic Development Association.
In this senior role, Mr Carlsson will oversee the activities of two additional wild dog co-ordinators to be recruited for the central west and southwest regions of the state.
The co-ordinators will work with landholders, local wild dog committees, councils and the Department of Agriculture and Biosecurity Queensland on wild dog control management programs.
MLA general manager – producer consultation and adoption Michael Crowley said growing wild dog populations were increasingly affecting cattle producers in the north.
“These newly funded positions aim to engage producers in best-practice control strategies, train them in the use of the most up-to-date tools, encourage adoption of the latest technologies and facilitate the co-ordination of control programs,” he said.
“Mr Carlsson is a veteran of setting up these programs throughout Central and Southwest Queensland and will be working with producers from the coast across to the Northern Territory border.
“Data collected through the program will also be valuable in evaluating the extent of the wild dog problem in Queensland.”
Mr Carlsson, who has worked in the pest management industry for 13 years, said the new structure would provide support to landholders to undertake a co-ordinated approach.
“A lot of wild dog control is happening in the cattle industry but it could be better co-ordinated to ensure producers are sharing the load and having a greater impact on wild dog populations,” he said.
“Sheep are more susceptible to wild dog attacks and so support has traditionally been focused on sheep production areas. However wild dogs impact the cattle industry in a number of ways.
“Calves are obviously at risk from dog attacks but reducing dog numbers will result in less cattle with bite marks and other injuries and less stress to livestock.
“Beyond the physical impacts, wild dogs have been implicated in the spread of parasitic diseases, such as hydatid disease and neosporosis.
“If we can reduce dog numbers – and I know we can – producers should start to see a change, with more calves on the ground and improved animal welfare.”
ON THE WAR PATH: Brett Carlsson has been appointed senior wild dog co-ordinator for North and Northwest Queensland, based in Cairns.