National Wild Dog Action Plan I Australian Rural and Regional News

National action plan for wild dogsPress release, November 15, 2022

The National Wild Dog Action Plan supports the conservation of protected dingoes in Victoria’s National Parks while limiting the impacts of wild dogs on nearby properties.

In response to a Nov. 14 ABC 7.30 report, National Wild Dog Management Coordinator Greg Mifsud said that 20% of the national park and state-owned forests were managed for wild dogs within the perimeter of the park. public area east of the Hume Freeway.

“In total, 80% of national parks and state forests protect dingoes, wild dogs and their hybrids where they fulfill their role as an ecosystem and are part of biodiversity,” Mifsud said.

“Those wild dogs caught leaving parks and continuing onto private land where they cause an impact are killed.

“The management program facilitates the conservation of dingoes in the national park system of eastern Victoria.”

The ABC 7.30 report did not mention wild dogs, dingoes and dingo-like dogs are distributed throughout Victoria’s Alpine National Park.

Mr Mifsud said the wild dog control program set up in a 3 km livestock protection zone at the boundaries of the national park acted like a firewall protecting both the park and the private land.

The 3 km perimeter Livestock Protection Zone restricts the movement of wild dogs on private land killing livestock and also restricts the movement of domestic dogs in the vast national parks and breeding with the protected dingo.

“Just as firebreaks prevent fire from spreading in either direction, the control program has a dual purpose,” Mifsud said.

“In reality, of this 20% of the National Park area, wild dog control is limited to specific targeted areas within the buffer zone at any one time.

“Wild dogs are still able to filter through the National Park onto neighboring properties and further into New South Wales and the Canberra area.

“Local wild dog management plans clearly consider both conservation and impact.”

Regarding the population density of dingoes and wild dogs in Victoria, he pointed out that an average of 500 to 600 wild dogs are taken by Wild Dog Program trappers in the eastern part of the state each year. over the past decade.

Mr Mifsud said the dingo population in the Victorian landscape remained healthy and not at risk of extinction.

“The annual number of feral dogs trapped has not decreased, which would indicate that the dingo population inside the national park is healthy, sustainable and producing the same number of offspring each year,” he said. he declares.

“The Victorian Wild Dog program is an excellent example of sustainable wildlife management where the impacts of this wildlife are reduced on private and park neighbors while the dingo population remains healthy and viable within the large conservation area.

“Some of these descendants reside in the national park and others seek to exit the national park where they are checked before causing an impact. If these scattered dogs are not controlled within the 3 km Livestock Protection Zone, they will leave the parks and likely attack livestock and pets not only on properties bordering the park, but much further afield and possibly at the periphery of the cantons and regional communities.

“Once they are established in these areas, they are much more difficult to control because the tools currently used are limited in built-up areas, endangering livestock and domestic animals on rural properties and hobby farms. .

“Professional wild dog controllers are required to dispatch these wild dogs under a nationally agreed code of practice and standard operating procedures, which they do with the utmost professionalism.”

The National Wild Dog Management Plan supports and promotes the use of humane and effective management techniques to implement control programs in sometimes remote and isolated areas of the country.

Mr Mifsud said the reduction of feral dogs and foxes under the baiting and trapping program has led to reduced stock losses while maintaining healthy populations of dingoes in national parks and state forests in the state east of the state.

“About 20-30% of bait is taken each year by wild dogs and foxes. Although foxes are an untargeted catch, this has a positive biodiversity and production benefit by removing them from the landscape.

“The results of Victoria’s wild dog control program and the combination of ground and aerial baiting in addition to trapping have significantly reduced the number of cattle attacked and killed by wild dogs on properties adjacent to the national park and public lands. of Victoria.”

Mr Mifsud said wild dog management programs are undertaken using best technical practice in the most humane way possible.

“We need to ensure that our testing programs produce humane results for the dogs being tested.

“The Center for Invasive Species Solutions is working with partners, including the Government of Victoria, on solutions to limit the time wild dogs stay in traps.

“These include alert systems that notify wild dog controllers of a dog in a trap and devices that will deliver a lethal dose of poison to render animals unconscious followed by a humane death shortly after being captured.”