Wild dog 1080 baiting control must continue for the ongoing protection of livestock and native wildlife, says Gippsland Nationals MP, Melina Bath.
Speaking in state parliament last week, Ms Bath said farmers had been reporting a spate of wild dog attacks over the past weeks.
“Our primary producers want confirmation from the Andrews Government that 1080 bating will be allowed to continue in Victoria to help control wild dog populations,” said Ms Bath.
“One farmer from Bendoc in East Gippsland whose farm borders a state forest reported how 23 lambs were viciously attacked and killed in the past fortnight alone.
“While local dog trappers were working to reduce wild dog numbers, primary producers were losing the battle and suffering significant stock losses.
“The Andrews Government needs to acknowledge the impact wild dogs are having in rural and remote areas and ensure all efforts are undertaken to help eradicate them.
“Our farmers are not the only group reporting an increase in wild dog numbers – bush users from across Gippsland regularly tell me about their encounters with wild dogs, they have seen them, heard them and witnessed the brutal results of wild dog attacks on our native wildlife.”
Ms Bath said the wild dog problem includes foxes and mixed wild cross breeds who mostly hunt at night, praying upon native animals and attacking vulnerable farm animals.
“Sheep farmers understand the battle more than most as their lambs are an easy prey for wild dogs.
“The use of 1080 baiting according to prescribed standards must continue in Victoria to help control wild dog populations and work in sync with professional trapping.
“Our livestock farmers are highly trained in the safe prescribed use of 1080 poisoning and The Nationals will strongly oppose any plan by the Andrews Government to phase out its use.
“The push by the Greens to end all 1080 baiting to control wild dogs is idealistic and false environmentalism.
“Wild dogs are responsible for so much ecological damage across our public land, and they are having an enormous impact on our agriculture industry.
“The Andrews Government must ensure the future use of 1080 poisoning to control wild dog populations and minimise the harm on the environment and agriculture industry being caused by these destructive apex predators.”