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Dingoes under threat

The dingo unprotection order has concluded in northwest Victoria due to new research, strong advice and the effectiveness of non-lethal dingo control methods to protect livestock.

Environment minister Steve Dimopoulos said the dingo population in northwest Victoria was under threat of extinction.

“We’re making these changes to protect an important part of the ecosystem,” he said.

A Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action, DEECA, spokesperson said the department was continuing to work with Traditional Owners, farmers and private landholders to appropriately balance protection of livestock and dingo conservation.

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“Farmers will be supported by a $550,000 investment to reduce pressures associated with vertebrate pest species such as foxes, feral pigs and feral goats, through collaborative, cross-tenure management,’ the spokesperson said.

“It will also promote the uptake of non-lethal control methods to manage predation of livestock in keeping with relevant regulations.”

In Victoria, the dingo is listed as a threatened species under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and is considered protected wildlife under the Wildlife Act 1975.

To allow the control of dingoes where they threaten livestock, a new Order in Council was made under section 7A of the Wildlife Act 1975, on March 14.

The order declared the dingo as unprotected within a three-kilometre buffer zone on public land in eastern Victoria and on most private land across the state.

The new unprotection order revoked and replaced the order made in October 2023 and will have effect until October 1.

This new Order excludes north-west Victoria due to the risk of extinction of its local dingo population.

The latest data gathered by the Arthur Rylah Institute shows the dingo population in the northwest is at risk of extinction, with as few as 40 dingoes left.

The Victorian government has committed to complete a review by October 1 in light of new scientific research suggesting a significantly greater proportion of Victoria’s wild dogs or dingo-dog hybrids might be dingoes, as well as information about dingo population size.

This review will include the policy and regulatory settings for the management and control of dingoes in Victoria.

Where livestock is being significantly impacted and there are no other control options available, all farmers – including those in northwest Victoria – can apply for an Authority to Control Wildlife permit to use lethal control methods.

The wild dog component of the current Fox and Wild Dog Bounty Program will not continue in the northwest.

There will be no changes to the Fox Bounty in the northwest.

Agriculture minister Ros Spence said the State Government was backing farmers with an investment to protect livestock while protecting a vulnerable dingo population at the same time.

The entire March 27, 2024 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire March 27, 2024 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!