A first of its kind wild dog control program will be launched in the heart of the Hunter Valley’s sheep producing region next week, as the NSW government works with landholders to control pest species.
The Upper Hunter Professional Wild Dog Controller Program is a partnership between the Hunter Valley Combined Wild Dog Association, Hunter Local Land Services and a number of key investors.
The program is worth nearly $1 million over the next four years, and would not have been possible without a significant grant from Australian Wool Innovation.
Other program partners include Glencore, Yancoal Australia, Bengalla Mining Co, National Parks and Wildlife Services, Forestry Corporation and Feral Scan.
The program will see the creation of a pool of Professional Wild Dog Controllers, who can be called upon by landholders to help control wild dogs after direct attacks on livestock.
The program will be run in conjunction with wild dog management plans currently being upgraded across the district.
It will see increased services available in the Singleton, Muswellbrook and Upper Hunter local government areas, targeting problem wild dogs and helping reduce attacks on livestock and native species.
It comes after a successful pilot controller program in 2017, which was made possible thanks to joint funding from the NSW and Australian governments.
Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen said helping land managers meet their biosecurity requirements is a priority for Local Land Services and the NSW government.
“A combined program of this size has not been attempted in the Upper Hunter before,” he said.
“Working together with a nil-tenure approach gives land managers the best chance to reduce the devastating impact wild dogs have on livestock and native species.
“We welcome the investment from all the parties involved to deliver best-practice control measures across the Upper Hunter, to assist local farming families taking responsibility for their biosecurity requirements.”
The program will be formally launched at “Gundibri Station” Merriwa, September 18.
Members of local wild dog associations, sheep producers and media are welcome to attend.