Wild dog trapped after 230 sheep kills
A WILD dog credited with 230 known sheep kills has been trapped on a property east of Moree.
The dog is also thought to have killed an unsubstantiated number of calves in the Myall Creek area near Warialda since last September, says northwest Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA) senior ranger, Gerard O’Connor.
The dog was trapped last week, 12km northwest of Warialda, by LHPA specialist ranger Andrew Phillips and local property manager Rodney Klinger.
“The capture was the culmination of 16 days of preparation and planning which resulted in the dog being caught in the first trap that was laid,” says Mr O’Connor.
“While the dog has been attributed for significant sheep losses, it’s also believed [it] may be responsible for a number of unsubstantiated losses in the area including young calves.
“In the past 12 months the northwest LHPA has been involved in, or knows of, the destruction of seven genuine wild dogs throughout the authority district and all of these have been male.
“Last year, we assisted in the capture of a male wild dog, estimated to weigh 20kg, which had been attacking livestock in the Carinda area for nearly five years and had caused approximately $15,000 worth of stock losses.”
Mr O’Connor says last week’s capture again was the result of a collaborative effort and shows what can be achieved when landholders and LHPA officers work together.
“Mr Klinger did an exceptional job on this occasion, checking the traps regularly, which contributed to the successful outcome,” says Mr O’Connor.
“Prior to the dog being trapped, a fox and a feral cat were caught in the trap and if the trap hadn’t been checked regularly the dog may not have been caught.
“To assist us support landholders we ask that all wild dog sightings or attacks be reported to the local office or ranger as this helps to build up a picture of where hotspots are and for appropriate planning and resources to be directed to assisting landholders in problem areas.
“Owners of domestic dogs are advised to keep their dogs restrained at all times, especially during absences, to avoid dogs wandering and potentially attacking stock or becoming wild.
“Domestic dog concerns should be reported to the local council ranger as they administer the Companion Animals Act.
“Even if wild dogs aren’t causing direct damage on your land, they will have some negative impact for someone else in your local community,” Mr O’Connor says.