MIG passes feral pig project to RBGs

MIG passes feral pig project to RBGs


MIG will continue to provide support to the RBGs, to ensure that farmers in the area utilise the benefits provided by RBGs.


AFTER two years of its feral pig management project, the Mingenew Irwin Group (MIG) is handing the baton over to the local recognised biosecurity groups (RBGs) to continue the battle.

MIG project officer Rachel Mason said in the past two years they had produced about three tonne of pig bait from grain, with a workshop completed recently that gave farmers 1.9t of bait to use throughout the year to try and reduce pig numbers in the region.

Reports of increasing numbers of feral pigs from Northampton to Gingin have caused farmers to be more engaged in tackling the issue - with many involved in regular shoots and baiting programs.

"We've been working with local farmers to try and control feral pigs in the region," Ms Mason said.

"But now that the Midlands Biosecurity Group has started up, the project is phasing out so they can take over."

Ms Mason said the State government's NRM program had funded the feral pig projects over the two years with $20,000 granted last year, which helped purchase the required 1080 poison and co-ordinate the project.

She said MIG would continue to provide support to the RBGs, to ensure that farmers in her area utilise the benefits provided by RBGs.

Ms Mason said despite the hard work they've done in recent years they still "can only estimate the numbers" of feral pigs in the region.

There are worries irresponsible hunters will "seed" pigs back into the area - which was also a major concern for local farmers.

"It is hard to estimate the numbers of feral pigs in the region but one trapper caught 300 pigs last year, while we have footage of 60 pigs lining up to feed from the grain bait," Ms Mason said.

"In March last year the Central Wheatbelt Biosecurity Association and the Midlands Biosecurity Group had an aerial shoot in Morawa where they shot about 250 pigs and that's just the tip of the iceberg of what we are dealing with.

"There's a lot of them out there."

Ms Mason said a recent survey of farmers in the area revealed they had had seen mob sizes of about 30 pigs in the Mingenew area.

In an effort to understand the depth of the problem farmers are being offered the use of 15 motion sensor cameras.

"MIG is offering these to farmers who are baiting to set them up and have a look at what number of pigs are on their property," she said.

"They can take photos day and night."

Ms Mason said it was important to utilise all methods of control and get "farmers, shooters and trappers working together to have the best impact".

"The best time of year to bait is when its dry as the pigs will stay near water but once it rains they'll spread to far distances, which is when shooting and trapping can be utilised," she said.


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