Funds to boost work of doggers

Zach RelphCountryman
WA Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan.
Camera IconWA Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan. Credit: Daniel Wilkins

The biosecurity group covering almost a million square kilometres of WA’s vast rangelands has welcomed a $750,000 injection to protect sheep producers from vicious wild dogs.

On Monday, WA Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan announced $750,000 would be committed to funding eight licensed pest management technicians for another year.

The technicians, known as doggers, aid six of WA’s recognised biosecurity groups’ efforts to manage wild dog populations within the State Barrier Fence on crown land.

Goldfields Nullarbor Rangelands Biosecurity Association chief executive Michelle Donaldson praised the Government’s latest pledge to fight the canine pests.

Mrs Donaldson said the funding would benefit the GNRBA, which covered 933,814sqkm of WA, and its bid to eliminate the region’s wild dogs. “The funding is much appreciated and well-received,” she said.

“For us, it assists us with having one dogger on the ground which is a good result. Even though one dogger for more than 933,000sqkm might seem understaffed, we are happy because everyone needs a dogger.”

Doggers manage wild dog populations through baiting, shooting and trapping. Wild dogs have ravaged the Goldfields and Gascoyne’s sheep industry, forcing many pastoralists to destock their flock to avoid attacks.

Ms MacTiernan said the funding followed the McGowan Government’s work to extend and repair the State Barrier Fence to mitigate the wild dog threat.

“Extending this funding will mean the good work done by the doggers and recognised biosecurity groups to protect the State’s sheep industry can continue,” she said.

“The McGowan Government is looking to continue its strategic State-wide management approach to wild dogs, with work under way on a new action plan extending to 2024.”

The other five RBGs to enjoy the dogger funding include the Eastern Wheatbelt, Meekatharra, Carnarvon, Central Wheatbelt and Esperance groups.

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