Call to include foxes in bounty package

27 Dec, 2014 01:00 AM
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Shooters and Fishers Party MP Rick Mazza is calling on the State Government to extend the now complete Murchison wild dog bounty trial throughout the State and include foxes in the program.
"Foxes do a lot of damage throughout sheep grazing areas.
Shooters and Fishers Party MP Rick Mazza is calling on the State Government to extend the now complete Murchison wild dog bounty trial throughout the State and include foxes in the program.

WA'S trial wild dog bounty in the Murchison should be extended throughout the State and include foxes, according to Shooters and Fishers Party MP Rick Mazza.

Mr Mazza has called on Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston to extend the $75,000 bounty program that has been operational in the Murchison region in recent months and attach a substantial budget to it.

The program finished on November 30 with 505 scalps being collected and $100 being paid in bounty for each dog.

Mr Mazza, who says he has highlighted the benefits of a bounty system to Mr Baston in the past, said the large response was a success that could not be ignored.

"I would welcome an extension of the wild dog program, not only for the funding but for all regions where wild dogs are a problem," he said.

"I'm not saying the bounty system is a substitute for other programs because it isn't.

"You still need baiting programs, trapping programs, fencing programs and similar to make sure you address the problem.

"It is another tool in the toolbox and 500 dogs on a trial bounty program is very significant."

But Mr Mazza said the government should consider extending the program beyond wild dogs to foxes.

"Foxes do a lot of damage throughout sheep grazing areas where every year thousands of lambs are taken," he said.

"Not to mention the wildlife damage the foxes cause."

Mr Baston said an evaluation of the program would be finished in early 2015 and a decision would be made then.

"The Murchison dog bounty was always intended as a trial, to determine how bounties may work as an incentive in conjunction with other wild dog control methods," he said.

"I strongly believe that bounties can only ever be successful where they are part of a suite of dog control methods.

"The State Government is committed to tackling wild dogs and in addition to the 14 doggers funded through Recognised Biosecurity Groups, is funding a further eight doggers.

"An upgrade to the State Barrier Fence to wild dog standards is complete and the 170km Yilgarn gap has been closed."

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