Indigenous ranger groups will be trained to help manage wild dogs and other pest animals in Western Australia through a $600,000 investment by the Federal Government.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said the two–year pilot, to be funded under the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper and the Indigenous Advancement Strategy, would utilise the skills of Indigenous ranger groups to undertake wild dog control.
“The Federal Government is funding this trial, drawing on the expertise of Indigenous ranger groups, many which already deliver feral animal control, on top of resource management activities including weed control, biodiversity protection and fire management,” Minister Joyce said.
“Under the pilot, Indigenous rangers will receive specific training to undertake the wild dog control activities on the ground, in ways that utilise their traditional knowledge and land management skills.
“The activities will align with the National Wild Dog Action Plan, WA Wild Dog Action Plan and complement the WA government and individual landholder responsibilities for wild dog management, such as baiting and trapping.”
The Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said there was significant potential for ranger groups to undertake wild dog control.
“Across the country, many Indigenous rangers currently survey, monitor and control feral animals using technology such as handheld GPS computers, camera traps and sand-plot monitoring techniques,” Minister Scullion said.
“The trial will begin in the Goldfields region, to complement the $660,000 the Federal Government invested in this region to establish a new Indigenous ranger group, to help protect Western Australian farmers from the impact of wild dogs.”
Federal Minister for Regional Development, Fiona Nash, said the Federal Government was serious about stopping wild dogs.
“As a farmer myself, I know first-hand how devastating the impact of feral animals can be on livestock or how pest weed invasions can drastically cut a crop’s yield.
“This Federal Government has shown an unprecedented commitment to helping limit the harmful impacts of pest animals such as wild dogs, which cost our agriculture sector up to $89 million each year through livestock losses, control measures and disease transmission,” Minister Nash said.
“Wild dogs can cause terrible distress for farmers and landholders, reducing farm profits and causing emotional anguish and the more we can do to combat this pest animal the better.”