Wild dog management zone work plans

Wild Dog Management Zone work plans are developed annually by the community, industry and government. They create a shared understanding that helps stakeholders to work effectively together to reduce the impacts of wild dogs using all available tools, including:

  • trapping
  • baiting
  • shooting
  • exclusion fencing
  • guardian animals
  • good animal husbandry.

Community workshops

Community workshops capture local experience and knowledge. They include the development of community approaches for wild dog control in each of the 16 management zones. Community wild dog control groups' activities are reflected in the work plans.

2021–2022 Wild dog management zone work plans

Wild dog management responsibilities

A successful wild dog control program requires an integrated, strategic and proactive approach where all land managers, community and government work together to protect livestock from the impacts of wild dogs through a cross-tenure approach. This plan is a result of community and government working together to reduce wild dog impacts on livestock.

Wild dogs are declared established pest animals under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 on all land tenures. All public and private landowners have a responsibility under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, to take all reasonable steps to prevent the spread of, and as far as possible eradicate, established pest animals, including wild dogs, on their land.

Wild dog control is implemented using all available methods and tools authorised for use in Victoria. These include baiting on tracks, trapping and shooting. Aerial baiting may be implemented within the six Australian Government approved sites. Remote ground baiting, (areas with no track access) may be implemented in all 16 wild dog management zones. These baiting activities will complement other Department of Environment of Land Water and Planning (DELWP) and community control activities.

In many locations, community and the DELWP work collaboratively to undertake strategic 1080 poison programs on public and private land to protect neighbouring properties. When wild dogs attack livestock, DELWP’s Wild Dog Controllers provide direct support and assistance to producers.

Wild dog control techniques

There are a variety of lethal and non-lethal wild dog control techniques available to landholders. Information and advice on the use and application of each of these methods can be provided by DELWP Wild Dog Controllers and Community Wild Dog Control Coordinators. For further information about integrated wild dog control refer to Integrated Wild Dog Control.

Lethal

Baiting with 1080 and PAPP bait products

In areas where baiting programs can be implemented, using 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate) and PAPP (4-aminopropiophenone) bait products is the most cost-effective and strategic method of wild dog control. The use of 1080 and PAPP baits must comply with the product label and the Directions for the Use of 1080 and PAPP Pest Animal Bait Products in Victoria.

Trapping

Trapping is an effective wild dog management tool when used by trained and experienced operators as part of an integrated control program. The use of traps must comply with the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and its regulations. For further information refer to Leghold traps.

Shooting

While shooting is the most target-specific form of wild dog control, it does not provide broad-scale, long-term wild dog control. It is labour intensive and requires a high skill level. Shooting can be effective in the removal of a problem dog from an area or property. However, it is most effective when integrated with other control methods. The use of firearms to control wild dogs must conform to relevant firearm legislation.

Non-lethal

Exclusion fencing

Well-maintained electrified wild dog exclusion fences provide an effective ‘first line of defence’ against wild dog predation of livestock.

Livestock protection can be further enhanced when electrified wild dog exclusion fencing is backed up by lethal control methods such as trapping, poisoning and shooting. An even higher level of protection can be achieved if adjoining landholders work together to build and maintain contiguous community electrified wild dog exclusion fences.

For further information refer to Australian Wool Innovation’s Wild Dog Exclusion Fencing: A Practical Guide for Woolgrowers.

Property hygiene

The presence of carcasses may attract wild dogs onto your property and provide a plentiful food source, allowing wild dog populations to increase and remain in your area.

Stock, pest animals, deer and native animal carcasses should be buried or burnt to prevent wild dogs feeding on them.

Animal husbandry

Primary producers can reduce the stock loss at lambing by coordinating lambing times with their neighbours, ensuring that vulnerable lambs are exposed for the shortest possible time.

Small lambing paddocks close to the house should be used to allow easier monitoring and will reduce the chances of lambs being left unattended or mis-mothered.

Guardian animals

Some producers have successfully used trained guardian animals (e.g. Anatolian shepherds, Maremma sheep dogs) to protect their flocks from wild dog predation.

For further information refer to PestSmart’s Guardian Dogs – Best Practice Manual for the use of Livestock Guardian Dogs.

DELWP and community wild dog management plans

DELWP delivery of wild dog control, both pro-active and reactive, is guided by annual wild dog management zone work plans, operational data and wild dog controller knowledge and experience.

Wild dog management zone workshops are held annually in wild dog affected communities and the discussions from these workshops and/or alternative means (e.g. digital media) helps to inform how wild dog management takes place within each wild dog management zone on both private and public land and reflects wild dog incident reports. Work plans are developed by the community, industry and government. They create a shared understanding that helps stakeholders to work effectively together to reduce the impacts of wild dogs using all available tools (refer to Integrated Wild Dog Control).

A crucial component in developing the work plans is the collection and recording of wild dog incident reports, so it is vital that incidents are reported by landowners as accurately and as soon as practicable. Not only does this enable a timely response by a DELWP Wild Dog Controller, but it builds a picture of where wild dog activity is occurring to maximise the outcomes from control actions.

Community wild dog control programs

Community wild dog control programs involve groups of private landowners in a local area taking part in coordinated wild dog control on private land. Coordinated control programs provide the opportunity to maximise the benefits of integrated baiting and trapping efforts conducted by private landowners to complement the works of DELWP for effective long term wild dog control.

Participants in community wild dog control programs also have the opportunity to learn from one another which techniques work best in their local area and benefit from organised demonstrations and field days which include non-lethal control methods such as exclusion fencing and use of guardian animals.

For more information on how to become involved in a community wild dog control program, please contact your local Community Wild Dog Control Coordinator:

Lucy-anne Cobby

DELWP Wodonga, 1 McKoy Street, Wodonga, Victoria, 3690

Phone: 0429 079 131

Email: lucy-anne.cobby@delwp.vic.gov.au

Mick Freeman

DELWP Orbost, 171–173 Nicholson Street, Orbost, Victoria, 3888

Phone: 0477 358 061

Email: michael.freeman@delwp.vic.gov.au

Brian Dowley

DELWP Bairnsdale, 574 Main Street, Bairnsdale, Victoria, 3875

Phone: 0408 436 600

Email: brian.dowley@delwp.vic.gov.au

Planned wild dog control

Proactive control

  • DELWP will implement strategic 1080 baiting programs on wild dog corridors and tracks on public land across the wild dog management zones.
  • DELWP will implement proactive trapping across the wild dog management zones within the capacity of the Wild Dog Controller.

Reporting

Incident reports involving stock killed or maimed will be given priority over wild dogs reported seen or heard. Dependant on the capacity of the Wild Dog Controller, seen and heard reports may not receive an on-ground response. However, the details of all incident reports are recorded and used for intelligence gathering to inform control activities.

Landholders who observe wild dog activity or experience a wild dog attack must phone their local Senior Wild Dog Controller to formally lodge an incident report. The Senior Wild Dog Controller will then assign the appropriate Wild Dog Controller for responding to the incident and follow-up communication.

If contact is not made directly with the Senior Wild Dog Controller, landholders need to leave a message and the Senior Wild Dog Controller will make a return phone call within 24 hours, excluding weekends.

To report any issues in relation to domestic dogs, please contact your local Council.

Senior Wild Dog Controller

Localities responsible for

Phone

Ian Campbell

Biggara, Burrowye, Corryong, Cudgewa, Granya, Gundowring, Koetong, Lucyvale, Mitta Mitta Valley, Mount Alfred, Nariel, Sandy Creek, Shelley, Tallangatta, Tallangatta Valley, Tintaldra, Walwa

0409 188 465

David Klippel

Alexandra, Jamieson, Mansfield, Merrijig, Molesworth, Ovens, Whitfield, Yea

0428 503 169

Anthony Websdale

Bairnsdale, Benambra, Dargo, Ensay, Erica, Gembrook, Heyfield, Licola, Maffra, Noojee, Omeo, Swifts Creek

0408 896 720

Geoff Hodge

Bendoc, Bonang, Buchan, Cann River, Deddick, Gelantipy, Orbost, Tubbut

0427 321 312

Reactive control – our service agreement to community

The DELWP Wild Dog Program response process for killed, maimed or harassed livestock, or where pets are attacked or people feel threatened, includes:

  1. A landholder contact within 24 hours by a Wild Dog Controller where required, to confirm incident reports involving stock killed, maimed or harassed or people/domestic animal interaction with wild dogs.
  2. Verification, within 72 hours, of stock death due to wild dog attack (i.e. not fox or domestic dogs) and wild dog activity where current work demands allow.
  3. Contact with local shire Ranger if impacts are believed to be domestic dog related.
  4. Provision of advice to landholders on immediate actions to be taken on-farm to mitigate further losses and risk.
  5. Provision of advice to bushwalkers and other public land users who are concerned about wild dog activity.
  6. Assessment of current wild dog control in the area on both public and private land and modify if required.
  7. Implement control actions post risk review using reactive tools and techniques, with due consideration for any potential human or non-target species risks that may impact on the Wild Dog Controller’s ability to safely and effectively manage wild dogs.
  8. Be aware that due to local circumstances, it may not be possible to perform any on-ground control works on public and/or private land in the area.
  9. Seek land manager (public land and private land) approvals should wild dog control actions be a viable option. Consideration towards road closures, extra signage, peri urban signage, removing baits and traps over weekends and public holidays and the use trail cameras.

Reactive wild dog control services, if applicable, may be withdrawn 30 days or less after a livestock attack. However, the provision of advice and works in the surrounding region may continue.

Wild dog management zone work plan documents and maps

Individual wild dog management zone work plan documents and maps for each of the 16 wild dog management zones are linked below:

Page last updated: 20 Aug 2021