Wild dogs cost cattle industry $60 million

PREDATORS: Most wild dogs in the NT are dingoes. Picture: NT Government.
PREDATORS: Most wild dogs in the NT are dingoes. Picture: NT Government.

New research is assessing the damage caused by wild dogs estimated to cost the NT cattle industry around $60 million annually.

Wild dog research officer from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Will Dobbie said the main issue is predation. 

“We have wild dogs directly killing young cattle and that is a direct loss in productivity. 

“The other angle is they leave the calf injured and unsaleable,” he said. 

In 2016 the Commonwealth Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources funded all states and territories to research management of their three worst pests. 

In the NT wild dogs, prickly acacia and mimosa were the stand outs. 

The joint project by the Department of Primary Industry and Resources (DPIR) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources is aiming to develop best practice and wild dog guidelines for the NT. 

“It is a big issue in the NT, likely costing the industry up to $60 million annually,” Mr Dobbie said. 

“In response to wild dogs being a problem over 90 per cent of people carry out opportunistic shooting, and 80 – 90 per cent are using 1080 baiting. 

“Australia wide, 1080 baiting is seen as the most efficient way to manage wild dogs to protect young cattle. Having said that, there is a wide range of opinions out there among producers,” he said. 

The research team will be in Katherine within the next couple of months to talk to producers about their strategies and results to collect information for a report. 

The research team has so far surveyed 44 stations. 

The report is expected to be finished by June 2019. 

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