As the NSW Government's Autumn Baiting program kicks off, South East Local Land Services senior biosecurity officer Matthew McNaughton has called for land managers in the region to get involved with pest management.
"Feral fighters community group baiting programs in the Upper Lachlan, Goulburn and Wingecarribee areas commenced in early March," said Mr McNaughton.
"Land managers have reported a significant increase in the numbers of rabbit and feral pigs off the back of favourable seasonal conditions."
He said that wild dogs were also an ongoing issue across much of the south east.
"They are currently active across a number of locations in the Highlands and Tablelands including a recent increase in activity in the north western area of Upper Lachlan," said Mr McNaughton.
"We are also testing pest animals for any signs of virus or disease which may be transmittable to humans or livestock, and are working with land managers to help them manage these biosecurity risks."
Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall urged a record number of landholders to engage in the autumn baiting program to help manage wild dog numbers.
Mr Marshall said this season would build off the growing success of the previous baiting projects, including the last year's autumn program, when more than 250,000 baits were deployed on properties across NSW covering roughly 2.5 million hectares.
"Wild dogs cause more than $25 million in damage and lost production in NSW every year, and that's simply not good enough," Mr Marshall said.
"While the rain is widely welcomed, our wet summer has provided ideal breeding conditions for wild dogs and foxes, so it is critical as many primary producers as possible take part in the autumn baiting blitz.
"Putting a dent in the populations of pests which plague primary production is only possible if Government and landholders continue to work hand-in-glove, which is why I want to see more landholders than ever engage in this program.
"With the state working towards drought recovery, the last thing we want is for wild dogs to kill livestock and threaten the livelihoods of our farmers and regional communities."
Those looking to take part in feral pest control programs can contact their closest Local Land Services (LLS) office. For more advice and information, or to access the free Vertebrate Pesticide Induction Training, visit www.lls.nsw.gov.au.
Mr Marshall said it was not just wild dogs in the NSW Government's sights, with coordinated aerial shoots taking place across the State to reduce the number of feral pigs and deer.
The Autumn Aerial Baiting Program is a coordinated operation between LLS and NSW Department of Primary Industries, in association with the Forestry Corporation of NSW and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.
- Land managers who would like to participate in ongoing pest animal management programs should contact the Goulburn Local Land Services office 02 4824 1900 for more information about training and how to get involved. Land managers with information regarding wild dog sightings or livestock impacts are also urged to get in touch.