Candidate takes aim at wild dogs

KATTER'S Australian Party candidate for Southern Downs Ade Larsen has called for increased funding to control the wild dog population in Southern Queensland, following an Agforce study which highlighted risks to endangered species and revealed the problem is costing the grazing industry up to $67 million dollars a year.

"The situation is absolutely out of control, with one grazier near Stanthorpe losing 400 sheep," Mr Larsen said. "Wild dogs have always been on the Downs, but they have been controlled up until the last decade when funding and baiting programs were cut. It deeply concerns me that graziers, who already have a tough time, now face this growing threat.

"The numbers are now so great that current baiting and eradication campaigns cannot keep up with the dogs, some of which are breeding twice a year".

He further said that graziers are also concerned about the impact this problem is having on native animals including swamp wallabies and tiger quolls.

"In their view this is as much an environmental problem as it is an economic problem. The dogs do not discriminate between endangered species and grazing stock", Mr Larsen said.

"What we need to do is re-establish the DPI and get all concerned, including land holders, using multiple methods of eradication. Successive governments have failed to properly resource eradication programs and now the dogs are winning and we can't let that continue."

Ade Larsen praised Land Care, wild dog control and conservation groups for working with land holders to reduce stock and fauna losses, and called for absentee landholders, cattle graziers and interstate groups to work together.

"We need greater cross-border cooperation as state borders do not stop wild dog movements. They cross boundaries and rivers with impunity to ply their deathly trade and we all need to cooperate on these programs for them to be effective," said Bob Katter's man in Southern Downs.

"Wild dogs are an incipient, hideous and unwelcome guest on our lands; graziers need to go to sleep at night knowing their stock is safe and native species are unharmed."

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