Cooma farmers call for urgent action on wild dogs

Member for Monaro John Barilaro says a more collective approach is needed when dealing with wild dogs.

Member for Monaro John Barilaro says a more collective approach is needed when dealing with wild dogs.

LOCAL farmers have voiced their concerns at the NSW Farmers Cooma Branch Wild Dog Co-operative Meeting, with around 150 people in attendance.

Stakeholders from state and federal groups were present to discuss ongoing wild dog problems at the Cooma Ex-Services Club on Monday.

The meeting highlighted the need for drastic action to overcome the significant loss of stock many Monaro land owners are currently facing. A number of motions were raised by representatives from the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Local Land Services and NSW Farmers members.

Member for Monaro, John Barilaro, addressed the audience about the need for a more collective approach when dealing with wild dogs.

"The feedback from farmers over the last three and four years is that government agencies are playing a more co-operative role with land owners and farmers," Mr Barilaro said.

"The message is clear, with the limited resources we have, of course we would like more resources, is to use the available data to present our case."

"If there was a single measure I could introduce; it would be for two trappers to get on top of the problem areas and get to a position were there are only a number of kills in the Monaro."

Board member on the national and state Wild Dog Advisory Groups and Bemboka land owner Ellen Green believes, although the meeting was a positive idea, the discussion failed to generate any optimism in tackling the wild dog situation.

“It was great to try the meeting, but I have been attending these for 35 years and very little has changed,” Ms Green said.

“Unfortunately the national flock is diminishing. My husband and I ran Merino sheep and were completely eaten out.”

“We will soon become a nation without any sheep.”

Arising from the meeting was a consensus for resources to be directed away from scientific research and into frontline trapping.

“Millions of dollars have been wasted on scientific research and white papers without killing the dogs. What we need is the resources to keep wild dogs in place,” Ms Green said.

“We are just a very rural, insignificant problem.”

The audience heard from Penelope Marshall who has completed a PHD into the social impacts of the wild dog problem.

“The heartbreak you see in farm families, people are really under the hammer,” Ms Green said.

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