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Landholders one step ahead of feral pests on Western Downs

8 August 2018

It’s been one of the biggest collaborative projects of its kind to combat the problem of feral pests across one of Australia’s agricultural heartlands and Western Downs landholders are thrilled to be chalking up the wins.

Western Downs Regional Council Spokesperson for Environment and Planning Councillor Andrew Smith said the Pests, Partnerships and People Power in the Western Downs program, funded under the Queensland Feral Pest Initiative, was on track for another record feral pig cull across the region, following on from the award-winning 2016 campaign which saw 11,000 feral pigs destroyed.

“The damage pests such as feral pigs and wild dogs do to crops and livestock is enormous and it’s only by banding together in a program such as this that we can manage those impacts,” he said.

“Our current program involves 555 landholders and that’s given us a sweeping effect across the district that’s proven really efficient.

“To date we’ve destroyed 6,233 pigs and 344 wild dogs and we are only halfway through — it’s been a huge success for the whole of the Western Downs and it’s an improved result of where we were at the same halfway point in our last initiative.”

Landholder Tristan Nitschke of the Meandarra-Hannaford-Condamine Pest Management Group said the initiative was invaluable to an agricultural hub such as the Western Downs.

“Key to the success of this project is the participation of landholders and it’s good to see people getting on board — we’ve had very good support from the Council and other groups and stakeholders as well,” he said.

“Feral pigs and wild dogs cause huge economic loss and there’s also an underlying biosecurity risk for livestock producers as well so we really hope this program will continue.

“It’s reduced the pig problem in the Meandarra-Hannaford area to the point where it’s now manageable and that’s made a huge difference to livelihoods of farmers.”

The Western Downs has lead the way with feral pest management, achieving some of the best results within the state thanks to a strategic approach that combines aerial shoots, trapping and surveillance of problem pests.

Council is encouraging landholders to become involved in this initiative by visiting www.wdrc.info/pest-management-funding-program or calling 1300 COUNCIL.

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Media Contact:
Madison Imhoff | Communication & Marketing Officer | 0419 940 486