The Victorian Government is today announcing the return of the wild dog bounty in an effort to curb the $18 million cost incurred by Australia’s livestock industry every year.
In a media release issued on October 25, Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford revealed the establishment of a new Ministerial Advisory Committee on wild dog management and a bigger, better bounty from next year.
“Farmers and landholders tell us time after time that foxes and wild dogs are a huge issue for them,” Ms Pulford said. “We’re supporting farmers across regional Victoria with a comprehensive suite of measures which gives local communities a voice on how it should be managed.”
The new Wild Dog Management Advisory Committee will be chaired by Eastern Victoria MP Harriet Shing and will have up to six additional members representing a cross-section of stakeholders.
“The stress, stock loss and costs that wild dogs cause for producers in Gippsland, North East and North West Victoria is enormous,” Ms Shing said. “This Committee will build on what’s already been done as part of an integrated approach to wild dog management.”
In recognition of the role hunting can play in supporting the management of wild dogs, a bounty of $120 will be introduced. Collection of skins from within control zones in Northern Victoria and Gippsland will occur between March and October 2017. The wild dog bounty will run in addition to the $10 fox bounty.
The wild dog control program also includes measures to protect dingoes – which assist with controlling foxes and feral cats – such as 3km buffer zones on public land.
The Advisory Committee will evaluate the use of the bounty after 12 months and evaluate buffer zones to ensure they continue to balance dingo protection with prevention of stock losses from dog attacks.
The new measures follow an independent evaluation of Victoria’s wild dog management program, which also includes poison baiting, trapping, exclusion fencing, hunting and appropriate animal husbandry.
Detailed information will be available on the Agriculture Victoria website.