Wild dog sup­port in­crease

Pro­duc­ers get a help­ing hand

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - Rural Weekly -

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.”

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

ON THE WAR PATH: Brett Carls­son has been ap­pointed se­nior wild dog co-or­di­na­tor for North and North­west Queens­land, based in Cairns.

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