Gone to the dogs

Landowners will be paid $120 per wild dog killed on their land as part of a $100,000 bounty scheme that began last week.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said the wild dog bounty would assist in reducing wild dogs and provide extra income to pastoralists and farmers suffering through extended drought conditions.

The bounty comes under the State Government’s $21 million drought package.

“The impact of wild dogs on the pastoral regions is significant, costing livestock producers almost $90 million every year,” he said.

“While only landholders will be able to collect the bounty, recreational and commercial shooters are able to hunt the dogs where they are invited to do so by farmers.

“Given the current need to reduce non-essential travel to slow down the spread of coronavirus, it is important shooters do not go to farming areas to hunt dogs without specific permission of the landholder.

“We know tackling wild dog populations in South Australia requires a multi-pronged approach.”

It was a sentiment shared by SA Dog Fence Board chair Geoff Power from Orroroo – also chair of the National Wild Dog Action Plan Consultative Committee – who has welcomed the State Government’s announcement.

“Any funding to assist in the control of wild dogs is welcome,” Mr Power said.

“The trouble with shooting dogs is that it’s opportunistic and often you only see the damage, you don’t see the dogs.

“We have to use every tool possible to get on top of the problem, so in addition to the 1600 kilometres of new fencing along the Dog Fence, and intensive trapping and baiting programs, this is a useful addition.”

The bounty is an addition to the State Government’s integrated wild dog control program, which already includes the $25 million Dog Fence rebuild, coordinated wild dog ground and aerial baiting programs and an expanded trapper program.

Details: www.pir.sa.sa.gov.au/wilddogbounty