Management of invasive species is an important component of biosecurity. For species already established in Western Australia (WA), including feral pigs, effective management aims to reduce the impacts of those populations and detect occurrences of new populations, thereby preventing further harm to the State’s agriculture and biodiversity. Effective management also includes monitoring the density and distribution of established populations to define their boundaries and determine the effectiveness of control programs.
The foundations for a national biosecurity framework were established in 2007, with the development of the inaugural Australian Pest Animal Strategy (APAS). The Feral Pig Strategy (this Strategy) outlines the principles of APAS that underpin a high-level approach to the management of feral pigs throughout Western Australia from 2020–2025.
This strategy builds upon the ‘Feral Pig Control Strategy: South-west Western Australia 2015-2020’ (Bain and Kinnear, 2015) which provides a comprehensive overview of existing knowledge regarding feral pig biology, impacts and distribution, as well as an ‘Industry Code of Practice for Feral Pig Control (Trapping and Eradication)’, developed by the Southern Feral Pig Advisory Group (SFPAG) for southwest WA.
Purpose of the Strategy
The Strategy has been developed by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), in conjunction with stakeholders, to provide guidance to stakeholders on a strategic approach to the management of feral pigs in WA. It describes the principles of effective feral pig management, and sets the goals and priorities that will help improve WA’s ability to deliver economic, environmental and social benefits through improved feral pig management.
The Strategy recognises that effective feral pig management requires a long-term, well-resourced, tenure-blind, coordinated approach and active involvement of all key stakeholders including State Government agencies, Local Governments, Recognised Biosecurity Groups (RBGs), regional Natural Resource Management (NRM) bodies, pastoralists, landholders, Traditional Owners, non-government organisations, mining companies, and research institutions. The ongoing support of the public is also essential to ensure funding continues to be applied to feral pig management.
The Strategy recognises that in some instances, particularly for Traditional Owners, feral pigs may have food harvesting, hunting or commercial values and these must be balanced with the obligation to manage these declared species.
The Strategy has been informed by the recommendations of experts and an extensive stakeholder consultation process. This has identified where feral pig management is working effectively and where, with increased collaboration, cooperation and resourcing, improvements in feral pig management would be achieved. The Strategy identifies a range of key management opportunities and challenges. Some of the identified opportunities can be achieved through increased cooperation and collaboration and can be readily implemented at little or no cost. Others will require significant additional research, planning, time or funding to implement.
The Strategy outlines goals which are required for coordinated, effective, safe, humane and ongoing feral pig management, and ways to achieve these at a State level. As such, the Strategy informs but does not prescribe specific, local, or on-ground actions. These must be planned and undertaken by those with appropriate expertise and knowledge of the local issues.
Download the full strategy.