Media Release

Government acts against wild dogs

4 July 2014

The Minister for Agriculture has launched the National Wild Dog Action Plan and announced Commonwealth funding to lessen the impact of wild dog attacks which are causing financial and emotional distress to farmers across the country.

Speaking at the University of New England today, Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said the plan is straightforward and identifies the responsibilities and actions of each stakeholder.

"It's estimated that the loss of livestock from wild dog attacks, disease transmission and control costs range from $48 million to $60 million annually," Minister Joyce said.

"But I know that this isn't just about money; that psychological distress to farmers and pet owners resulting from wild dog attacks on their animals is high. Coming across your sheep which have been torn apart by a predator is horrific.

"The last question I had from rural stakeholders I met with in South West Queensland was about wild dogs, and the first question put to me at a local community meeting in Nundle recently was also about wild dogs. So I know just how prevalent this issue is across jurisdictions and I’ve heard firsthand from those affected about the emotional and environmental devastation caused by these pests.

"This plan, developed by WoolProducers Australia, provides a coordinated approach to wild dog management. Wild dog impacts is something I’ve been acutely aware of for some time and I am proud the Australian Government is joining the fight against the wild dog problem which is affecting so many on the land."

In conjunction with today’s launch, Minister Joyce announced a $280,000 start up investment towards wild dog management under the plan, to be managed by the Invasive Animal Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), as part of the government's continued support of the National Landcare Programme.

"The plan identifies what needs to be done, and we now have an injection of funds to initiate a nationally coordinated approach to wild dog management," Minister Joyce said.

"It goes hand-in-hand with the $10 million allocated to drought-affected farmers to deliver projects on the ground to manage pest and feral animals, as part of the national drought package released in February.

"Wild dogs don’t care for our bureaucratic boundaries and this plan provides a national approach to deal with these invasive animals across jurisdictions, with opportunities to coordinate control efforts and implement nationally consistent control practices."

The plan will be managed through an Implementation Steering Committee drawn from the key stakeholders. The plan has been developed collaboratively by the wool, sheepmeat, cattle and goat industries and by state and territory governments.

"I commend WoolProducers Australia for bringing these parties together to develop the Action Plan," Minister Joyce said.

For a copy of the National Wild Dog Action Plan, please visit www.woolproducers.com.au.