Protecting Livestock From Wild Dogs

If elected in March 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will provide funding to support the employment of two wild dog trappers for a four year period.

The Problem

The number of wild dogs in farming areas is continuing to increase.

They have penetrated the Dog Fence and made their way as far south as the northern fringes of the Barossa region, putting sheep under most threat.

South Australia’s peak industry body, Livestock SA, have said that in Western Australia, only 200,000 sheep are left in pastoral areas due to wild dog predation. In Queensland, there has been a massive drop in the sheep population, due largely to wild dogs. Fencing within the shires of Western Queensland is routinely capturing 1200 to 1500 wild dogs per year.

An ABARES report estimated that wild dogs could cost South Australia’s cattle industry $34 million over the next 20 years alone if action was not taken.

As wild dogs continue to breed with domestic dogs, they are able to have two litters a year producing significantly larger litter numbers than dingoes.

Wild dogs are vicious and kill for sport as well as food with Livestock SA reporting incidences of farmers losing more than 20 sheep in a single night left mauled but uneaten.

Native animals such as wallabies and bandicoots are also regular prey.

Until April 2016, the Federal Government funded a wild dog trapper in South Australia as part of a drought package. In the 14 months before the withdrawal of funding, the trapper caught 108 wild dogs below the dog fence.

The Weatherill Labor Government refuses to fund any wild dog trappers in South Australia.

That is despite other jurisdictions investing to protect their respective livestock industries with 18 trappers in Victoria, 13 in Western Australia and 8 in Queensland.

The State Liberals' Plan

If elected in March 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will provide funding to support the employment of two wild dog trappers for a four-year period.

The annual cost will be $300,000. Half of this will come from existing resources within the Department of Primary Industries, with the balance to come from a partnership between industry and government. Wild dog trappers will help protect South Australia’s $4.7 billion livestock industry.

These trappers will particularly help South Australia’s 7,000 sheep, lamb and wool producers, which farm 11 million sheep valued at almost $500 million.

Without an active an ongoing containment program, wild dogs will continue to increase in numbers and move further south, putting a valuable industry under threat.

Wild dog trappers will also help prevent these vicious dogs from heading further south into the Barossa Valley and Adelaide Hills, where they will be an even greater threat to human safety, native wild life and even household pets.