AgMemo - Livestock news, April 2018

Page last updated: Thursday, 12 April 2018 - 2:48pm

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Call for landholder views on wild rabbits and feral pigs

A family of feral pigs standing by a waterhole
Feral pigs are capable of causing significant damage to properties.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) is calling on landholders affected by wild rabbits and feral pigs to complete an online survey to help manage these destructive pests.

Working in partnership with Recognised Biosecurity Groups (RBGs) and other community groups, the department is seeking to better understand the impact wild rabbits and feral pigs are having on farms, the issues people encounter trying to control them, and where landholders may need assistance.

The responses to the survey will assist RBGs and community groups develop coordinated control programs and therefore have the best chance of success.

Despite the release of effective biological control methods, communities still have a pivotal role to play with traditional control programs.

The release of the RHDV1-K5 virus last year has been effective in reducing wild rabbit numbers, and using traditional techniques now will capitalise on that reduction.

It’s estimated that the virus has reduced the wild rabbit population by 42%, but for effective control the number needs to be reduced further.

Feral pigs are now being found in new areas around the state, and there is no effective biological control agent that can be used against them.

To successfully manage wild rabbits and feral pigs, which are both prolific breeders and can have a significant impact on agriculture, coordinated control programs are essential.

The survey only takes five minutes to complete. It asks respondents about the damage that the pests have caused to their property, what kind of monitoring activities they’ve conducted, and what control methods they have used.

Once the results have been analysed, the department, RBGs and other community groups will have a better understanding of the challenges associated with controlling wild rabbits and feral pigs.

The department will then continue to work with RBGs and other community groups to assist landholders to develop and refine strategies that will help reduce numbers and protect valuable agricultural assets.

The online survey is open until 5 May 2018.

For more information contact Rick Bryant, Client Engagement Leader, South Perth on +61 (0)8 9368 3346.