Media Release

Protecting the flock is a national team effort

17 February 2014

Australia’s Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, welcomed the release of a new report highlighting the importance of ongoing work to help Australian woolgrowers protect their flocks from wild dogs.

“Wild dogs continue to be a major issue for the wool industry and cost an estimated $66 million a year to our farmers’ hip pocket and the economy,” Minister Joyce said.

“Strong leadership and a coordinated on-the-ground effort is required to get on top of this issue as it threatens the viability of sheep production in parts of Australia.

“Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) has invested in a number of wild dog projects in the past four years, with $3.6 million being invested since 2011–12 and a further $2.2 million committed in 2013–14.

“It is the role of the Research and Development Corporations to invest in areas of research and development to help enhance the productivity and profitability of the sector.”

Minister Joyce commended the AWI for funding the research, conducted by ABARES.

“The research emphasises the importance of ensuring all stakeholders, not only woolgrowers, are involved in the decision-making processes around wild dog management,” Minister Joyce said.

AWI Chairman, Wal Merriman, reaffirmed the organisation’s commitment to providing extension services to assist woolgrowers in the development and implementation of wild dog management plans.

“Over the past few years woolgrowers have been telling us how wild dogs are a major limitation to production and threaten the very future of sheep production in large areas,” Mr Merriman said.

“This issue is now a top research priority and we have developed appropriate programs together with other land users to reduce the significant impact this problem is having.

“Socially, the effects of wild dog attacks on individuals and communities are very significant. Wild dogs also impact on native animal populations.”

The full wild dog report.