East Gippsland hunters are making the most of the Victorian Coalition Government’s fox and wild dog bounty with 75 wild dog skins handed in at local collection centres and 168 state-wide since October.
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said while the magnitude of the problem was huge, it was good to see local hunters targeting wild dogs.
"Every scalp helps and that is 75 less we have to worry about.
"There is also some great results from the fox bounty. Figures across the State show the scheme has easily outdone the former Labor government’s ‘Fox Stop’ program.
“Total collections for fox scalps and wild dog skins across Victoria are nearing 30,000, which speaks volumes about how badly this bounty was needed.
“Not surprisingly I have received feedback from local hunters who had been calling for an end to the previous ad hoc and inconsistent fox and wild dog control programs.”
Mr Bull said, Labor had all but ignored the pleas of farmers and landholders who were fighting a losing battle against rising fox and wild dog numbers.
“The bounty is not a total solution, but it’s playing an important part in our efforts to reduce the impact of foxes and wild dogs on food and fibre producers.”
“Other steps that have been taken in the battle against wild dogs are:
Maintaining of 72 hour trap checking for doggers (rather than move to 24 hour checking as was proposed by the previous government) to allow doggers more flexibility to go about their business,
The restructure of the wild dog management group to give local communities more of a say in dog control, and
The establishment and growth of community baiting programs.
"The other pre-election commitment that was made related to the introduction of aerial baiting and it is probably the most important of the measures we planned to introduce in relation to wild dog control. The applications to commence are in, but the process is being held up by the Federal Government. Negotiations continue and we hope to have approvals shortly, so we can undertake aerial baiting as is allowed in other states," Mr Bull said.
For further information go to: www.dpi.vic.gov.au/bounty or contact the DPI Customer Service Centre on 136 186.