WA wild dog plan commences

The West Australian

Work has begun on a new WA action plan to co-ordinate and prioritise efforts to better address the devastating impact wild dogs have on livestock.

The Wild Dog Action Group met for the first time in Perth last week, with its representatives from across the regions impacted by wild dogs.

Wild Dog Action Group chairman and Gascoyne pastoralist Justin Steadman said the meeting had established a good understanding of the current issues in wild dog management and had mapped the broad range of stakeholders affected by the problem.

"It was important for us to first identify all the different public and private parties that we now need to consult with to help build a practical plan of action for future wild dog management," Mr Steadman said.

"We will be working through a consultation process with the range of stakeholders identified across landholders, industry, government and the community in coming months to ensure we get the input needed to prioritise future investment of time and effort in wild dog control."

Department of Agriculture and Food acting invasive species director I-Lyn Loo said department was taking part in the industry-led group.

"DAFWA has appointed consultants to assist with facilitation of the plan and to evaluate the economic drivers and business case for wild dog management in WA," Ms Loo said.

Mr Steadman said while there had been efforts in the past to develop a higher-level strategy on wild dog control, the group had identified a need to develop a practical implementation plan to align the range of efforts and investment to get real traction on the wild dog issue.

"We have no intention of producing another document to be shelved, this action plan has to translate into action on ground to manage wild dogs and we will be working with the relevant ministers, biosecurity groups, landholders and agencies to this end," Mr Steadman said.

"Wild dogs have economic, environmental and social impacts across the pastoral and agricultural regions so it is critical we get agreement on the priorities and the most effective measures in each region to tackle the problem.

"Re-establishing old partnerships and forming new ones will be the key.

"Landholders and government are already making a significant investment in time and effort to control wild dogs so we want to make sure this action plan provides leadership and co-ordination for all the stakeholders to ensure this effort is targeted and effective."

Mr Steadman invited all interested parties to become involved in the Wild Dog Action Plan consultation process by contributing their expertise and ideas for future priorities for wild dog management programs.

The plan is expected to be completed by November.

To make a submission or to become involved in the consultation process email agknowledge@echidna.id.au .

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