The State Liberals have committed to funding two wild dog trappers to protect South Australia’s livestock industry and native animals if elected in March 2018.
Wild dog numbers have exploded in recent times and these savage predators have been seen as far south as the fringes of the Barossa Valley.
“Increasing numbers of wild dogs have breached the dog fence, presenting a growing threat to humans, stock and native animals,” said Shadow Minister for Primary Industries David Ridgway.
“It’s distressing to find a lamb or a wallaby torn to bits by wild dogs and its time the Weatherill Government moved to curb the threat they pose to livestock and native animals.
“Wild dog trappers are an effective way to trap the dogs that have learnt to avoid baits. “When South Australia did have a wild dog trapper a couple of years ago, they trapped 108 wild dogs in 14 months.
An ABARES report estimated that wild dogs could cost South Australia’s cattle industry $34 million over the next 20 years if action was not taken.
“These wild dog trappers will help protect South Australia’s $4.7 billion livestock industry and reduce their impact on native species,” said Mr Ridgway.
“It’s important that the State Government steps into to protect the incomes of South Australia’s 7,000 sheep, lamb and wool producers and the 20,000 people they employ.
“Wild dogs not only pose a threat to the safety of our farmers and potentially even tourists, they also have the capacity to inflict great financial damage on individual farmers.
“Farmers have reported that wild dogs can maul 20 sheep in a night just for sport, leaving them to die a horrible death.”
Currently the Weatherill Labor Government does not fund any wild dog trappers in South Australia. Other jurisdictions have recognised the threat and there are 18 dog trappers working in in Victoria, 13 in Western Australia and 8 in Queensland.