Local baiting in line with state

THE onus for wild dog baiting is falling more on the shoulders of Gympie region landholders in line with other areas of Queensland.

At the Gympie Regional Council (GRC) Works and Services Committee Meeting this week, it was reported that uniform 1080 baiting protocols implemented by GRC Land Protection Officers now allowed council the opportunity to follow a more streamlined and consistent approach throughout the region.

Since September, syndicate coordinators and individual landholders have been required to supply their own meat – cut to the appropriate size, collate and formalise the necessary legal documentation for the implementation of 1080 baiting. An authorised officer is still required to inject 1080 into the meat.

Previously, the level of service provided by council placed restrictions on baiting programs undertaken.

With new protocols in place, it’s anticipated that there will be an improved capacity for facilitating blanket baiting several times a year in co-operation with surrounding councils, as well as “one off” baiting actions for individual land holders who require baiting outside the usual blanket baiting times.

Experts have found that because wild dogs can travel hundreds of kilometres in a week, a co-ordinated baiting program is more affective in their control.

Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries Biosecurity Queensland senior zoologist Dr Lee Allen, who conducted extensive research in wild dog management found baiting on a single property to be counter-productive.

"Research indicates wild dogs need to be controlled at a regional level and that young dogs are particularly destructive and need to be targeted," Dr Allen said.

"More research is needed but it seems the best time to bait could be from early summer until late autumn, with baiting done every few weeks at key locations."

Members of the community could have a greater say in the response to wild dog problems under a revised management plan being proposed by the Queensland Government. The draft Wild Dog Management Strategy 2010-15 is aimed at managing feral dogs in regional areas, where they destroy livestock and menace property owners.

The revised strategy encourages a “nil tenure” approach to wild dog management – addressing the issue from a “landscape” rather than a property perspective – to avoid debate over who owns affected land and the dogs causing problems.

Residents have until November 12, to voice their opinions. Phone 13 25 23 or visit http://www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au/

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