United front needed for dog control

Haidee VandenbergheCountryman

Australia's peak wild dog body claims not everyone is pulling their weight when it comes to control - and it's pushing wild dogs further west.

Recently in WA for the National Wild Dog Management Advisory Group meeting, held in Esperance, national wild dog facilitator Greg Mifsud said the biggest challenge the group faced was convincing landholders that dog control was everyone's problem.

"The biggest issue at the moment is the lack of participation from stakeholders," he said.

"Some are working hard to get baits out, then you have big parcels of country where there is no control because that particular landholder doesn't agree or believe there is a problem."

Mr Mifsud said control programs were becoming better organised, but although some areas were getting on top of the problem dogs were often moving into new areas.

"Through the national group we've been trying to warn people these things are coming but at times it's difficult to get landholders to take up the reins and be proactive, because they don't see it as an issue," he said.

"In areas where they haven't traditionally had dogs, a lot of people don't know what's available and what they can do to help themselves.

"Everyone needs to be involved and control programs need to cover all the properties within a region in a blanket fashion.

"Otherwise you will have people doing the best the can only to be impacted by someone else's dogs."

However, the war on wild dogs could be aided by the release of a new ejector and toxin currently before the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).

PAPP or para-aminopropiophenone - a poison that has an antidote - is being looked at along with the ejector, which shoots toxin into the mouth of a fox or dog that pulls on a spring loaded bait head.

The two tools have been years in the pipeline, but Mr Mifsud said they could be available next year.

"There is discussion with State Government agencies about starting to get on the front foot and look at how they will regulate and use those new tools," he said.

"PAPP has the potential to fill a lot of the gaps we have with control where people don't like using 1080 because of risks to working dogs.

"We're looking to register (the ejector) with 1080, PAPP and cyanide for use by professional controllers.

"Once they're registered we're hoping to have them by the end of the year if not mid next year for dogs."

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