The Victorian Farmers Federation has raised concerns the Victorian Government’s revamped Wild Dog Management Advisory Committee risks diluting any attempt to control wild dog attacks by conceding to dingo advocates.
“Wild dogs are an introduced feral animal which need to be removed from the environment,” VFF Livestock Group President Leonard Vallance said.
“If apex predators like dingoes are introduced back into the environment before we’ve successfully eliminated dogs, we risk exacerbating the problem by cross breeding; the result would be a ‘Super Wild Dog’.
“We will be seeking an undertaking from the Minister that this committee will be committed to wild dog eradication and not to the preservation of dingos. It is vital we have a neutral, scientific approach to wild dog research.”
Mr Vallance said the VFF also held concerns for ongoing social and business impacts faced by farmers battling wild dog attacks on livestock.
“The economic impact on the grazing industries has been seriously underestimated and we’re concerned about the mental health of farmers dealing with the trauma associated with wild dog attacks,” he said.
Mr Vallance welcomed the appointment of VFF member and livestock producer Ron Harris as committee chairman, but said the omission of National Wild Dog Committee representative Peter Star from the committee was concerning. The VFF will seek to have Mr Star instated as an observer.
The committee includes six members with experience across farming and biodiversity management.