A wild dog believed to be responsible for killing a number of wallabies in Arakwal National Park and Cape Byron State Conservation Area.
A wild dog believed to be responsible for killing a number of wallabies in Arakwal National Park and Cape Byron State Conservation Area. NSW Office of Environment and He

Wild dogs just as much an issue for farmers as the drought

ON TOP of the drought, farmers are faced with another costly problem. A CQ landholder estimates a $200,000 saving since they began trapping wild dogs. As he said, if they hadn't started trapping it was doubtful they would have any calves left.

Twenty-seven months ago. they were testing for Leptospirosis thinking that that may have been the cause of so few calves being weaned. Then they employed a dogger to try another possible tactic. The first night the trapper set 20 traps and caught five dogs.

Another farming couple in the area shot 138 wild dogs on their property near Longreach. Combined, the two properties have destroyed in excess of 150 doge. That's a lot of calf killers.

It costs $250 a dog to kill them but the saving is enormous and necessary. And there is no end in sight. In the quarter July to Sept, they still trapped 15. Where are they coming from? Maybe there is less wildlife due to the drought, or there may be government forestries and national parks, both of which can be a problem with fire danger and a home for pests.

As the farmers said, "when it rains we'll need every calf we can get to bring our stock numbers up to near normal, but it will take time."

Who'd be a farmer/grazier, but we need them so let's take our hats off to them and the food they produce for us.

RAY HARCH, Toowoomba



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