Drought alert for farmers over feral pigs and wild dogs on the prowl

TIME TO BAIT: Farmers are looking out for feral pigs.
TIME TO BAIT: Farmers are looking out for feral pigs.

Farmers have been warned about wild dogs and feral pigs on the prowl in search of feed in the drought.

Baits and courses are being offered by Central Tablelands Local Land Services (CTLLS) to combat the predators as spring nears.

CTLLS senior biosecurity officer Alistair Gordon-Smith said farmers should be gearing up for strategic baiting.

“It’s been a dry, hard winter and feral pigs and wild dogs are looking for food for spring litters of piglets and pups,” he said.

“New born calves and lambs are extremely vulnerable to pest predators, so it’s timely for landholders to start planning their baiting regime now.”

CTLLS manager of biosecurity and emergency services Clare Hamilton said the wild animals, including foxes, were entering properties seeking food.

Food is more scarce, they are a lot hungrier.

Clare Hamilton, Local Land Services

“What we are seeing is because there is less feed pigs tend to be coming in where [farmers] are trail-feeding for their stock,” she said.

“Food is more scarce, they are a lot hungrier.

“People are lambing at the moment, foxes are about and lambs are an easy target.”

She said dogs had been sighted around  the Ophir area and along the Macquarie River.

CTLLS has set days and times for when farmers could collect baits, though they did need to book.

The baits are offered at Molong on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8.30am-11am, Bathurst on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8.30am-11am, Cowra on Wednesdays from 2.30pm-5pm and Mudgee on Mondays and Fridays.

Farmers wanting to use 1080 and other bait products needed to have chemical accreditation.

The next, free chemical accreditation course is on Tuesday September 11 in Bathurst and bookings can be made on 6333 2300.

Ms Hamilton said when landholders collected baits a free risk assessment of their property was made.

CTLLS acting team leader for invasive species and plant health, Colleen Farrow, said other meeting times could be arranged.

“Biosecurity officers will work with landholders to arrange alternative times if necessary,” she said.

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