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Building skills in dog and fox management

Twenty landholders found out how to control pest animals such as wild dogs and foxes at a recent three day workshop held by Hunter Local Land Services (LLS) in the Upper Hunter near Moonan Flat.

LLS regularly hold vertebrate pest trapping workshops and 1080/Pindone certification courses to help landholders learn control techniques to protect their properties from stock losses and threats to biodiversity. 

Craig Crooks, Senior Biosecurity Officer for LLS said, 'this workshop was aimed at people with limited or no knowledge of trapping who wanted to develop their skills and understanding and add another property management tool to their toolbox.' 

'The course covered both practical and theoretical aspects of trapping, such as the type of trap to use, how to set traps, identifying signs of dog and fox presence, applicable legislation, countering stress and anxiety, and 1080 certification,' said Mr Crooks.

Workshop participant and local farmer Drew Shearman said the three day course was great as the content was relevant and informative to people with some experience and to those with none.

'Wild dogs have become an increasing issue for livestock farmers in the Hunter Valley causing loss of, and damage to stock, animal stress, negative economic impacts and high levels of anxiety in land managers', said Mr Shearman.

Ross Garland, Biosecurity Officer for LLS said, 'large properties can make it difficult for farmers to keep an eye on all areas of an enterprise all the time, and dogs and foxes can be cunning. Learning about control techniques can help landowners to counteract these difficulties.'

'Foxes are a significant threat to small native mammals and play a large part in the decline of biodiversity across Australia. They can also kill lambs, goat kids, and poultry', said Mr Garland.

Both fox and wild dog numbers can be managed with coordination and partnerships between landholders, groups such as wild dog associations and LLS. A combination of control techniques using monitoring equipment, mesh cage traps, soft/rubber jawed leg hold traps and 1080 poison can also help to control foxes and wild dogs. 

Contact your local LLS Biosecurity officer for advice on control techniques and creating wild dog and fox management plans.

Check Pest Control for contact details of your local Biosecurity Officer and Events for updates on upcoming trapping and 1080 certification workshops being held in October.

Media contact: Maree Whelan (02) 4938 4932 or 0418 960 817