$800,000 action plan to combat wild dog threats

Zach RelphCountryman
Wild dogs roaming in the Pilbara.
Camera IconWild dogs roaming in the Pilbara. Credit: Wayne Fletcher

An $800,000 commitment to curb the mounting wild dog threat decimating WA’s wool industry will be unveiled today in an effort to protect farmers’ sheep stocks.

Countryman can reveal the McGowan Government will today announce its new wild dog research and development fund to determine how to bolster population control measures.

The initiative is part of the State Government’s revised $18.6 million Wild Dog Action Plan and includes an injection from the Federal Government’s Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper scheme.

WA Agricultural Minister Alannah MacTiernan said greater control was needed to safeguard rangelands from wild dogs which tear an estimated $25 million annually from the State’s sheep and goat production.

“The WA Wild Dog Action Plan R&D Fund is another demonstration of our commitment to supporting farmers as they fight to protect their livestock from the scourge of wild dogs,” she said.

Signs of wild dog activity near Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
Camera IconSigns of wild dog activity near Kalgoorlie-Boulder. Credit: Rebecca Nadge

“We need to ensure the methods we use to control wild dogs are the most effective and suitable for West Australian farmers and pastoralists.”

Half of the $800,000 will be dedicated to research and development grants to explore solutions to minimise the impact of wild dogs on farmers’ livelihoods.

Up to $150,000 is available to each successful applicant group to research or develop innovative tools and technologies to improve wild dog detection, reporting, control and management.

The other half of the funds will help make social and ecological assessments of wild dog management techniques, including fencing, bait delivery methods and deterrents.

Ms MacTiernan called for researchers to collaborate with biosecurity groups to develop proposals, while drawing on farmers’ experience with the wild dog issue.

Traps are used to capture wild dogs.
Camera IconTraps are used to capture wild dogs. Credit: Tori O’Connor / Kalgoorlie Miner

Meanwhile, Goldfields Nullarbor Rangelands Biosecurity Association boss Ross Wood has announced he is departing his post.

The long-standing GNRBA chief executive revealed at the group’s annual general meeting on Tuesday he would relinquish the position to Michelle Donaldson.

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