Macarthur fox and wild dog baiting program launches next week

Picture: Supplied
Picture: Supplied

Wild dogs and foxes will be the target of pest control program to protect livestock, wildlife and domestic animals across Macarthur this Spring.

Biosecurity experts have again joined forces with landholders across the region to launch the campaign led by Greater Sydney Local Land Services.

Senior biosecurity officer and project leader Annaliese Geddes said the program was going ahead in line with strict COVID safety protocols.

"While the risk of COVID in our region is very real, feral pests don't listen to stay-at-home orders and we know wild dogs and foxes are more active during spring," she said.

"That's why Local Land Services has set up contactless bait collection to allow us to continue carrying out this critical work while still protecting ourselves and our customers."

The Macarthur program will target impacted properties in The Oaks, Oakdale, Orangeville, Glenmore, Maldon, Cawdor, Mt Hunter, Razorback, Picton, and Wedderburn areas.

Ms Geddes said while this year's program was smaller due to COVID safety protocols, landholder cooperation and involvement remained strong.

"The support of our landholders is critical to achieving the best outcomes and is crucial to the success of our program," she said.

Ms Geddes said the program would see the use of 1080 baits and candid pest ejectors placed strategically on properties in line with strict government legislation.

"Only authorised, fully trained operators with current chemical qualifications are permitted to use 1080 or prepare baits which includes our officers and all involved landholders," she said.

"Rules around use include a comprehensive risk assessment of target areas, extensive public notification processes, placing baits minimum distances from habitation, use of remote cameras to minimise presence of non-target animals, clear signposts as well as bait tethering and/or burying to further protect native wildlife and domestic pets."

Ms Geddes said many people didn't realise 1080 was a naturally occurring toxin found in more than 30 species of native Australian plants, it doesn't damage the natural environment, as it's water soluble and readily broken down by naturally occurring bacteria and fungi.

"Australia's native wildlife have evolved tolerance to 1080, unlike the introduced dog and fox," she said.

"That is why it is considered the best environmental option control pest animals."

The program will begin on September 20 and run until October 11, 2021.

This story Macarthur fox and wild dog baiting program launches next week first appeared on Wollondilly Advertiser.