Moves afoot to control wild dog problem

By Country News

A rise in wild dog attacks is taking its toll on local sheep producers as they continue to suffer some of the worst attacks in 30 years.

Upper Ryans Creek farmers Terry and Jan Ring said recent attacks not only had a financial impact, but a mental one.

‘‘What really needs to be made known to whoever will listen, is the depth of the physical, mental and emotional toll taken, not only on the farmer but also on wife and family,’’ Mr Ring said.

More than 30 years after a spate of attacks on his property, Mr Ring said he still remembered the scene — ‘‘dead and dying mauled animals strewn around the paddock or in a pile where they had suffocated fleeing from the dog,’’ he said.

‘‘The psychological impact of this taints the wellbeing that should be had when going about the daily business of checking stock.’’

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning estimates the cost to Victoria’s livestock industry at between $13million and $18million each year as a result of the death, injury or loss of production to livestock.

Member for Euroa Steph Ryan said she had continued to hear concerns from producers who had been victims of wild dog attacks.

Speaking in parliament last month, Ms Ryan said some landholders said dog attacks were the worst they had seen in 30 years.

‘‘Attacks from wild dogs are putting livestock and farmers’ livelihoods under threat across north-east Victoria and many farmers are concerned about the growing number of wild dogs they’re seeing,’’ Ms Ryan said.

She also reiterated the Nationals’ pledge to cut red tape preventing wild doggers and landholders from controlling wild dogs, should the Coalition be elected at November’s state election.

‘‘We will also hold a competitive tender process for spring and autumn aerial baiting and restore the wild dog advisory committee with majority landholder representation,’’ she said.

In 2014 the Victorian Government announced a five-year action plan for managing wild dogs in Victoria, which saw the introduction of a Wild Dog Control Advisory Committee and the appointment of a number of senior wild dog controllers across north-east Victoria.