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2014 Autumn Baiting program declared a success

The annual Wild Dog Baiting Program has wrapped up on the Northern Tablelands, and reports are already suggesting a significant decrease in the number of vertebrate pests preying on local livestock.

More than 250 landholders took part in the program which was coordinated by Northern Tablelands Local Land Services across the Armidale, Glen Innes and Tenterfield regions.  Over 48,000 baits were dropped on private properties and 15,000 baits dropped on State Forest land.

The NSW Forestry Corporation, Crown Lands, Northern Tablelands, North West and Hunter Local Land Services, Southern Downs Regional Council in Queensland, and local landholders all participated in the program, which began with aerial bait drops in April and May.

The National Parks & Wildlife Service also carried out their own aerial baiting program during this period, coordinating the timing with Local Land Services to maximise the impact on wild dogs, pigs and foxes.

Aerial bait drops were followed by strategic ground baiting carried out by landholders working through local Wild Dog Control Associations in conjunction with Local Land Services. 

Northern Tablelands Local Land Services supplied the 1080 concentrate, bait bags, warning signs and support services while the landholders supplied the meat and the manpower to lay the baits.

"It's been a very successful program," said Mark Tarrant, Team Leader with the Northern Tablelands Local Land Services Invasive Species & Plant Health Unit.

"We've had an excellent response from local landholders, and we've already received reports that predation on livestock has decreased significantly in the weeks following the baiting program."

"In the Chandler River area east of Guyra we had a new Wild Dog Control Association form this year with landholders that hadn't previously taken part in the coordinated program."

We dropped 67 kilometres of bait lines in this region and the feedback now coming in from the farmers involved, and from a trapper working in the region is that dog numbers are down dramatically."

"That's good news not just for farmers, but also for the environment, as dogs, pigs and foxes are a serious threat to rare and endangered native animals."

"They are also a major biosecurity threat to livestock producers through predation and the spread of disease.  Wild dogs can also pose a significant threat to humans." 

A spring aerial baiting program is now being planned for early October to capitalise on the success of the autumn campaign. This program is being funded by the Commonwealth Government's drought package for the management of pest animals on drought affected properties in NSW.

"The spring offensive will be a one off project in 2014 that will hopefully knock out a lot of juvenile dogs just at the time when they're ready to leave the den and branch out into new territory," said Mark.

"Evidence from spring campaigns carried out in the past demonstrated some very positive results, so we're hoping for a similar effect this year."

"Local Land Services will then commence preparations for the next autumn campaign in 2015, and as always we will be looking for landholder cooperation to maximise the effectiveness of the program."

For more information about the baiting program or to find out how to join a baiting group in your area, contact your Local Land Services office on 1300 795 299. 

Media contact:  Annabelle Monie (02 6728 8032)