Another terror wild dog taken down by professional controllers in the Upper Hunter
31 May 2018
A wild dog that has terrorised Upper Hunter farms for eight years has finally been controlled, thanks to the work of professional wild dog controllers. The dog frequented farms between Wallabadah and Murrurundi, killing and wounding countless sheep.
Landholder Peter Forsythe runs a sheep property at Chilcotts Creek, he said he was astounded to learn the dog had been removed by professional controller Ben Johnsen.
“I just fell to bits, I couldn’t believe our luck when I heard they got him – I had that dog trapped once seven years ago, and he got away, he’s probably killed hundreds of my sheep since then maybe thousands,” said Mr Forsythe.
“I have lost 300 sheep to wild dogs in the last three weeks alone and you just can’t believe the impact it will have removing an old dog like this.
“He was clever, he knew where all my traps were, he walked right past all the baits, so I can’t thank the professional controllers enough for this.”
The Professional Wild Dog Controller Program is a partnership with the Hunter Valley Combined Wild Dog Association, Australian Wool Innovation, Hunter Local Land Services and local industry partners including Glencore, Bengalla, Yancoal, the National Parks and Wildlife Service and Forestry Corporation.
The $1million program over four years helps landholders access professional controllers for specific reactive and strategic control programs. Currently three controllers have removed more than 50 problem wild dogs from known hotspots in the Upper Hunter.
For landholder Peter Forsythe, the important thing now is to stay on top of the wild dog population.
“That one dog we tracked on a motion camera travelling more than two kilometres on the day we caught him, they can do a lot of damage in that time,” said Mr Forsythe.
“With the drought conditions in our region we have all been backed into a corner, we have nowhere to go for lambing season with our stock, so we have to work together to remove these wild dogs to give our livestock the best chance.
“I have been trapping on my place for 10 years trying to get rid of these dogs, but we all need to work together - we can’t relax, we need to keep at them and it’s programs like the Professional Wild Dog Controller Program that are really helping make an impact.”
Remember to report all wild dog sightings and incidents to your nearest Hunter Local Land Services Biosecurity Officer. Sheep and Cattle producers in the Upper Hunter who would like to take part in the Professional Wild Dog Controller Program need to be a member of their local wild dog association to apply. Landholders can contact Biosecurity Officers Richard Ali 0429 722 944 or Jonathan Randle 0429 342 995 for more information on the Professional Wild Dog Controller Program, or to join in local baiting programs for wild dogs.