THE Pastoralists and Graziers Association (PGA) has called for an immediate State-wide plan to tackle the wild dog problem in Western Australia.
"Wild dog control is no longer the problem of the pastoral industry, nor is it confined to sheep, with goats, cattle, and horses being attacked throughout the State," PGA vice president and Pastoral Committee chair Ellen Rowe said.
"With the possibility that Royalties for Regions funding for doggers and cell fences may start to dry up, it is essential that we begin to establish a co-ordinated and targeted plan in order to satisfy government of the value of continuing to fund these programs."
Pushing forward, the PGA initiated the first meeting to developing a State-wide approach last week.
The PGA met with wild dog action groups from the agricultural and pastoral areas, and experts from Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) and the Department of Parks and Wildlife.
The round table of stakeholders viewed that not only was a State-wide approach was needed, but they would need to establish a WA wild dog co-ordinator position in WA.
The PGA believes that the impact of wild dogs in WA will be substantially reduced by co-ordinated management response actions at the landscape scale by wool producers, livestock producers and interested stakeholders.
"Wild dogs are a major threat to livestock production as well as biodiversity," Ms Rowe said.
"The PGA encourages an organised and co-ordinated approach that will further assist Rangeland Biosecurity Groups (RBG) and the Agricultural Declared Species Groups (DSG)and other stake holders to effectively deal with the magnitude of wild dog control.
"The meeting (with the stakeholders) was held to obtain information from industry in order to prepare a submission to AWI for the funding of a wild dog co-ordinator, or co-ordinators.
"This funding is above and beyond any funding any from the State Government through Royalties for Regions and is provided by AWI in the same way they fund co-ordinators in New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland.
“The next step is the finalisation of the submission to AWI.”
"If this is successful, then a steering committee will be set up involving the RBGs and DSGs.
"It is not anticipated that individual pastoralists or landholders will have a place on the table, as they will be represented by their relevant biosecurity group."
DAFWA estimates that the impact on all Rangeland pastoral stations in 2012 was recorded at $6.3 million worth of financial losses, annually, due to wild dogs and had peaked in 2011 with losses of $7.7m.
The most recent data collected by DAFWA reported a number of stock losses, such as cattle, sheep and other livestock across the rangelands peaked in 2009, with more than 70,000 animals, predominantly sheep, then in 2012, more than 42,000 animals were lost due to wild dogs.