The South East Local Land Services is launching a campaign to combat wild dogs throughout the district.
Authorities said feral dogs were a problem right across the South East district, which ranges from Maddens Plains north of Helensburgh, south to just before Batemans Bay and west through Kangaroo Valley and over to Robertson.
Senior Biosecurity Officer, Charles Signorelli, said while some regions may have a history of wild dogs issues, there are “hot spots” where problems arising with ferals were common.
“We do have areas that have a history of wild dog incidents, encounters or attacks, and others that are hot spots, that just occur,” he said.
A dog problem was reported in Brundee (east of Nowra) around the Brundee Swamp and Nature Reserve.
Landowners reported problems with wild dogs earlier this year and residents are working with the Local Land Services to solve the problem.
The best way to combat wild dogs was having information. We can’t do anything about wild dogs if we don't know about them.South East Local Land Services Senior Biosecurity Officer Charles Signorelli
“In February and March this year it was brought to our attention about an ongoing dog problem in the area,” Mr Signorelli said.
“There were also incidents reported in the nearby Springbank area.
“Landowners reported more or less being affronted by a pack of wild dogs, while animals were also be accosted by dogs. There was also reports of associated loss of stock, such as sheep.”
He said initial reports were of a pack of six to eight dogs but it was hard to put an exact number on the size of the pack.
“We letterboxed dropped the area and spoke to a number of landowners and gained more information. They reported a pattern, with quite a few losing stock or having other animals harassed,” he said.
“To the community’s credit, a number landholders were licensed firearm holders and had shot some of the dogs.”
The service has a number of different strategies to combat wild dogs, including trapping, baiting and monitoring programs, with cameras strategically placed to try and identify the types of dogs and their numbers.
“We got the monitoring up and running and had nine cameras in place which picked up a pack of five dogs moving around the area. The swamp area provides a good harbour for the dogs. It is hard to access and is a difficult area to track the dogs down,” Mr Signorelli said.
He said a number of dogs had been captured through trapping, while baiting by some landholders had accounted for a further five animals.
“Along with National Parks and Wildlife Service and Shoalhaven City Council we have launched a broad trapping and baiting program, with a further strategic broad baiting program planned for September,” he said.
Mr Signorelli added the best way to combat wild dogs was to get more information.
“We can’t do anything about wild dogs if we don't know about them,” he said.
“Getting information from the public and in particular landowners about issues with wild dogs is the best way for us to combat the problem.
“I encourage anyone with concerns or information to contact the South East Local Land Services office (4464 6000) or myself.”
Upcoming South East Local Land Services courses
As well as physically trying to combat the problem Mr Signorelli said the land services regularly run programs to allow landowners to gain the necessary qualifications to undertake baiting programs.
Two such programs are being held in Berry in August.
Feral Fighters Vertebrate Pesticides Training Course (1080/Pindone/PAPP training course) will be held in Berry on Thursday, August 16.
The course runs from 9am-12:30pm and will cover - Legislation and legal obligations, baiting techniques, toxicity, storage, transport and how to reduce non-target exposure.
Upon successful completion your accreditation will be valid for five years.
The course requires at least 10 participants to go ahead. A decision will be made on Monday, August 13 when RSVPs close.
RSVP am Monday, August 13 to Charles Signorelli on 0418 241 251 or email@example.com
That will be followed by a Feral Fighters Canid Pest Ejector (CPE) Training Course, also to be held at Berry on Wednesday, August 22.
The course runs from 9am-12:30pm and will cover - Legislation and legal obligations, deployment and setting of CPE, toxicity, storage, transport and how to reduce non-target exposure.
The courses are free of charge to participants who have joined the Feral Fighters program.
Accreditation will have no expiry, providing your Local Land Services Vertebrate Pesticide accreditation is valid.
This course also requires at least 10 participants to go ahead.
A decision will be made on Monday, August 20 when RSVPs close.
The courses will be run at the South East Local Land Services – Berry Office, 13 Schofields Lane, Berry.
RSVP by Monday, August 20 to Charles Signorelli on 0418 241 251 or firstname.lastname@example.org