The $1.55 million South Australian Wild Dog Strategic Plan today released by the State Government provides a blueprint for wild dog management across the State.
The plan includes the proposed appointment of a state wild dog coordinator, to be based in Port Augusta, and a $1.25 million investment in maintaining and improving the Dog Fence.
It also involves a further $300,000 investment in the SA Arid Lands' Biteback program, which has included ground and aerial baiting, provision of traps and bait delivery devices and landholder training in wild dog trapping.
Outside the dog fence the plan strategically manages wild dog populations to minimise damage to the cattle industry while also respecting the cultural significance of dingoes, and their important ecological function in keeping kangaroo and other populations in check.
Other aspects of the plan include:
- detecting and eradicating wild dogs inside the dog fence
- a dog fence buffer zone (35 kilometres outside the dog fence) – to prevent wild dogs from entering
- protect the cattle industry while maintaining populations of wild dogs outside the dog fence, including the pastoral cattle zone and non-production areas
- ensuring good governance for wild dog management.
The plan was drafted by the South Australian Wild Dog Advisory Group (SAWDAG) in collaboration with the State Government, peak livestock and conservation stakeholder groups, the state and local dog fence boards and community members and groups.
For further information on the plan visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/wilddogs
Quotes attributable to Environment Minister Ian Hunter
The State Government needs to protect its sheep industry, which is worth around $1.5 billion a year to the State's economy.
We recognise the dingo has important cultural value to many Aboriginal communities and plays an important ecological role in regulating wildlife numbers in the rangelands – balancing these views is a challenge for livestock and wildlife managers.
This balancing act has influenced the development of the South Australian Wild Dog Strategic Plan 2016-2020, providing the protection of livestock, particularly for the sheep industry south of the dog fence, and the maintenance of dingo populations outside the dog fence.
I am pleased to also announce the government will be appointing a state wild dog coordinator, based in Port Augusta with
Natural Resources SA Arid Lands, to oversee the plan.
Quotes attributable to Agriculture Minister Leon Bignell
Wild dogs cause enormous damage to the State's multimillion dollar sheep industry and to the well-being of our sheep farmers.
I am up on the dog fence today for the second time in two years and I've listened to the concerns of local pastoralists in South Australia's pastoral country. As a government, we share their concerns and want to work side by side with them on the dog problem.
The State Government supports our sheep industry with several programs aimed at reducing the impacts of wild dogs, but they remain a big issue for our farmers.
The plan brings together all current wild dog management activities across the State and sets out improvements needed for better government, industry and community collaboration.
The vision of this plan is to protect South Australia's livestock industries from the impact of wild dogs while maintaining the ecological and cultural roles of the dingo as a wildlife species outside the Dog Fence.
Dingoes arrived in Australia about 4000 years ago and became a source of cultural and spiritual significance to Aboriginal people. They were widespread at the time of European settlement in South Australia.
Due to impacts on the sheep industry, they were gradually eradicated from southern areas of the state, and the 2187 kilometre long dog fence was erected to protect southern flocks.
"Wild dogs" is a collective term which includes dingoes and their hybrids with domestic dogs.
In South Australia, large populations of wild dogs are now mainly confined to the 60 per cent of the State located to the north of the dog fence. To the south, there is an isolated wild dog population at Ngarkat Conservation Park in the upper South East. The appointment of the state wild dog coordinator has been made possible with funding from the Federal Government.