PREDATOR PRESSURE: In paddock cameras across the Southern Downs are starting to reveal the extent of the wild dog problem.
PREDATOR PRESSURE: In paddock cameras across the Southern Downs are starting to reveal the extent of the wild dog problem. Gary Lukritz

Wild dogs plague Downs

WILD dogs are recognised as a serious environmental threat within many rural areas, including the Southern Downs.

Renelle Ring is among property owners who have experienced problems with wild dogs.

"Since we moved to our Wildash property, we have regularly heard wild dogs," Mrs Ring said.

"When planes fly over, we hear them howl and, before we started baiting, it would not have been out of the ordinary to hear up to six at once," she said.

Peter Cleary has also experienced significant issues with wild dogs where he lives near Dalveen.

He said it was an ongoing problem, combatted by trapping and baiting.

"We just can't have many sheep in our area at the moment," Mr Cleary said.

"Where we've got really good sheep grazing land, we've got no sheep because the dogs are killing them."

Condamine Alliance, together with T&C Wild Dog and Feral Pest Control, has successfully applied for limited funding through the government's Drought Assistance Scheme to aid in wild dog control.

Wild Dog and Feral Pest Control representative Chris Booby said wild dogs were among many pest animal pressures farmers faced.

"The damage inflicted by wild dogs runs into millions of dollars in stock losses and there is also a lot of emotional trauma for the stock owners," he said.

"On many properties the stock they have nursed through tough times are getting mauled and killed by wild dogs."

Mrs Ring said funding would allow T&C to visit properties to set up trapping kits and demonstrate proper trapping techniques.

"Chris was quick to visit our property and the help he provided definitely gave us the confidence to continue trapping and we will now be integrating it into our feral pest management plan," she said.

"For those concerned about using baits, trapping allows for a preferred method of destruction of wild dogs and the new soft jaw traps are a great design - humane and easy to use.

"Those who can't bait for whatever reason can have peace of mind they can still do something about the problem if they trap.

"We have participated in every council baiting round that we have been aware of and have noticed a reduction in the frequency and numbers of dogs howling since baiting."

Southern Downs Regional Council offers a $100 bounty payment as an incentive to encourage the integration of trapping or shooting with other controls including co-ordinated baiting, guardian animals and pest barrier fences.

Under Section 77 of the Land Protection Act 2002, it is a landowner's responsibility to take measures to control wild dogs on their land.

Baiting has become a popular method, one which many think will help to manage wild dog numbers.

"Wild dog baiting should be mandatory," Mr Cleary said.

"Anyone who lives out here on these properties who won't bait should be fined on the spot," he said.

"I know someone out at Freestone who asked neighbours to bait but they wouldn't.

"They've got dogs roaming wild but can't do anything about it."

Call T&C Wild Dog & Feral Pest Control on 0457080950 or council pest management services on 4661 0300 for assistance or more information.


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