FARMERS of livestock will benefit from a $19 million windfall to support the industry and help landowners control wild dogs and other agricultural pests in regional areas.
Agriculture and Food Minister Mark Lewis said the funding would implement recommendations of the new Western Australian Wild Dog Action Plan 2016-2021 launched last weekend.
Mr Lewis said the industry-led plan was about reducing the economic and social impact of predatory dogs by connecting industry, government and the community in a co-ordinated effort to revitalise pastoral, agricultural and regional tourism industries.
“Wild dog predation on livestock is taking a heavy economic and emotional toll on livestock producers in affected pastoral and agricultural areas,” he said.
“A key step is the formation of the WA Wild Dog Alliance to provide industry-based leadership to implement the plan.”
Part of the plan boosted support for biosecurity groups formed to control wild dogs and ongoing funding for professional doggers.
The plan also includes $1.5 million for competitive grants for cell or cluster fencing.
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman welcomed the plan, identifying further upgrades to the State barrier fence in the southern agricultural area.
“The fence has undergone significant improvements in recent years to become a more effective barrier to wild dogs, including the closure of the 170km ‘Yilgarn Gap’ with the benefit of Royalties for Regions funding,” he said.
Stock loss costs from wild dogs in WA are estimated at up to $25 million a year.