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WA divided on wild dog plan

07 Mar, 2013 01:00 AM
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Pastoralist and Graziers Association wild dog spokesman Will Scott.
Pastoralist and Graziers Association wild dog spokesman Will Scott.

THE national action plan to control wild dog problems across Australia has been met with a mixed response in WA.

Some supported the need for an integrated response, but others believed a national committee was nothing more than a talkfest.

Wubin farmer John Nankivell is representing WA on the steering committee.

He said the idea was to create a plan that was acceptable for dog control Australia-wide.

He said each State had their own regulations or management plans in place to control wild dogs, but by coming together they were able to educate each other on what worked and what didn't and form a best practice plan.

"For example our 1080 regulations in WA are different to those in Queensland, South Australia and Victoria," Mr Nankivell said.

"Because we can all get together and discuss what each State is doing, Queensland is now pushing for a softening of its 1080 regulations."

Mr Nankivell's role in the steering committee was also to put WA's case to the group.

"We have lost $7 million in the cattle industry and $5m in the sheep industry, that we can account for, just from dog damage," he said.

"But what isn't accounted for is the fact many stations have gone out of sheep because of the problem."

Esperance stud breeder Scott Pickering was also representing WA on the committee.

WAFarmers wool section senior vice president Ken Clarke supported the plan and said a national approach was definitely something WA needed.

Mr Clarke said there were people all over the country that were concerned about the wild dog problem.

But Pastoralists and Graziers wild dog spokesman Will Scott held a different view.

Mr Scott said committees were often set up with good intentions but rarely ever worked.

"The only reason I can see to set up a national committee is to get federal funding," he said.

"But once that happens a whole new set of problems occur.

"Each group or State thinks they have the biggest problem and are more entitled to the funding and nothing ever gets done."

Mr Scott said he would rather see the agricultural ministers from each State co-operating and creating a plan to fix the problem.

"It would be easier and more efficient if our ministers got together and made the Federal Treasurer realise how serious this problem was and got funding that way," he said.

"A national steering committee is the last thing we need."

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READER COMMENTS

Bushy
7/03/2013 4:38:47 PM, on Farm Weekly

The WA reps are interesting Whilst not sure where Ken Clarke resides the others are from farming country - they are yet to experience the real effects of wild dogs and have not yet experienced the full brunt of wild dogs. Have to agree with the PGA rep a national committee is going to produce little.

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