​Joint Media Release

​More drones deployed in dog fight

18 June 2015

South Australian farmers battli​ng against the impact of wild dogs and other pests will receive a boost with extra funding announced today by the Australian Government.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said a further $375,000 would help South Australia combat pests associated with drought conditions.

“Prolonged drought in areas of South Australia is generating significant hardship for farmers and their communities, with pressure mounting on land and water resources,” Minister Joyce said.

“The last thing these people need are wild dogs and other pests further affecting their profitability and while we can’t make it rain, we can help mitigate some of the impacts of drought.”

South Australian Minister for Agriculture, Leon Bignell, said $100,000 would go towards a trial on the use of drones to inspect dog fencing led by Associate Professor Lian Pin Koh, Director of the University of Adelaide’s Unmanned Research Aircraft Facility.​

“Feral animals and pests like wild dogs destroy infrastructure and livestock and their numbers are growing as they move further south across pastoral lands," Minister Bignell said.

“While current programs to address drought-related pests have been well received, wild dogs remain a big issue for our farmers.

“The use of drones to inspect fences will save time, money and effort.”

The other $275,000 will be used to continue dog trapping and baiting and for the services of a Biteback coordinator.

South Australian Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Ian Hunter, said Biteback had been a successful program, and more assistance was welcome.

“The Biteback program and professional dog trapping have been an effective response so far, but we need to do more to control the numbers of wild dogs in South Australia and the State Government will put to good use this funding from the Australian Government.”

Minister Joyce said the funding was part of a package to assist South Australian farmers experiencing hardship caused by drought.

“This extra funding is in addition to the $200,000 already provided to South Australia for pest management,” Minister Joyce said.

“We also announced a range of accelerated tax depreciation and further drought support measures, which took effect from 12 May 2015, in the recent Federal Budget that will further boost the productivity of our agriculture sector.

“This government is backing rural people and communities in hardship, and we will continue to back them.”

More information on assistance available to farmers is available at agriculture.gov.au/assistance​.