Vic govt takes bite out of bounty

18 Jul, 2015 02:00 AM
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The government believes effective management of wild dog populations required an integrated approach

THE Victorian government will no longer pay a $100 wild dog bounty, but will continue to pay $10 per fox scalp.

Since 2011, there have been 2129 wild dogs scalps collected in Victoria, with more than $200,000 paid out in bounties until the program was ceased on June 30.

A spokeswoman for Victorian Agriculture Minister, Jaala Pulford, said the government believes effective management of wild dog populations required an integrated approach, including poison baiting, trapping, exclusion fencing, and hunting.

She said aerial baiting formed a key part of the government's approach, with around 4000 baits injected with 1080 due to be dropped on Crown land this Spring.

"This is on top of wild dog controllers and field officers working with farmers and local communities to trap and shoot wild dogs in problem areas," the spokeswoman said.

She said this integrated approach also relied on government, the community, industry and other land managers working together to reduce the impact on stock.

Since March, there have been 24 community consultation workshops aimed at incorporating local knowledge and experience to develop 15 Wild Dog Management Zone work plans.

"These workshops provide an important opportunity for farmers to contribute their very specific local knowledge and experience to develop local approaches for wild dog control and specify operational targets for both government and community over the coming year," the spokeswoman said.

The government is also looking at the hunting sector and its role in assisting with conservation and pest management efforts.

"We are working with the Game Management Authority and Parks Victoria to explore further opportunities for hunters in this space," she said.

The government has committed funding to continuing the fox bounty with over 402,000 fox scalps submitted since inception in 2011.

The $10 reward for entire fox scalps will continue until the end of October 2015, when collections will cease for 2015.

FarmOnline

Cara Jeffery

is the national sheep and wool writer for Fairfax Agricultural Media
Date: Newest first | Oldest first

READER COMMENTS

Johanna van de Woestijne
18/07/2015 2:56:09 AM

Are the wild dogs dingoes or domestic dogs gone feral, or a mix? I'm not Australian, just curious, since I've read dingos can knock back both fox and feral cat populations.
LeighWA
20/07/2015 2:05:28 PM

Scalps are routinely collected, salted and stored from non bounty areas and then trafficked or 'sold' to landowners into bounty shires. The rorting is endemic. Figures can not be trusted. If you are in Victoria, then your tax dollars just paid for Dingo scalps from interstate. And don't say this doesnt happen.
Percy
20/07/2015 3:05:54 PM

Just when we are getting on top of critters which are devastating our native animals they want to cut out the bounty. Simple way to cure interstate rorting is to ban salted scalps or for the Federal Government to put up money for the control Australia wide. We also need better control of feral cats. At least they are keeping fox bounties in Vic which gives hunters enough incentive to help keep fox populations under control. Baiting subsidies would encourage farmers to control them more but courses are needed to teach how to outsmart the wily fox.
bedervale
21/07/2015 9:07:32 AM

johanna, The idea that wild dogs keep other predators in check is pure bunk! Different predators hunt at different times of the day and lesser predators keep a wide berth from top order ones, makes sense from a survival point of view. Cats and foxes can climb trees, dogs cant.
PADDY
24/07/2015 3:08:13 PM

I certainly think shooting is far superior to baiting. A bait may be taken by a quoll, dingo, or other native animal, many are already under threat of extinction. A bird of prey may eat a bait, or a poisoned carcass. It is our responsibility to help all our native animals. Shooting is target positive. A good marksman will only hit what he aims for. Today's sights, accuracy of the firearm, and spotlights at dark carry no risks in the hands of a trained shooter. Youth in rural areas can be of great help to a farmer, and a bounty repays them for the time spent, and their outlay on equipment.

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