THE rapidly developing problem of wild dogs heading south is becoming a statewide issue, according to Member for Stuart Dan van Holst Pellekaan.
Mr van Holst Pellekaan used the first sitting day of parliament for 2018 on Thursday, May 3, to address the issue in front of fellow parliamentarians.
“It is a problem that is unfortunately coming further and further south – the scourge of wild dogs,” he said.
“This is a problem for South Australia.”
“When you have dogs being shot at Caltowie, at Laura a couple of weeks ago, as far south as Port Neil on Eyre Peninsula and as far south as near Waikerie in the Riverland, this is a very serious problem.”
Private landholders are going to extraordinary lengths in an attempt to rid their properties of the problem.
Mr van Holst Pellekaan told the parliament there was one station north of Port Augusta that had spent $120,000 of their own money last year removing wild dogs off their property, and they still keep coming.
“It is a government obligation to help these people, and we will deliver on that obligation,” he said.
Mr van Holst Pellekaan hit back at the previous state government for not supporting graziers south of the dog fence who are battling with the incredibly serious problem.
“While the former government ignored this problem the very best they possibly could, we took to the election a policy to fully fund two full-time wild dog trappers, and we will deliver that for the people of South Australia because everybody in our state benefits, including the people who live in the CBD of Adelaide,” he said.
“They all benefit from our agriculture industry, so we must do whatever we can to help them. We will deliver that policy.
“Trapping is very important because some smart dogs do not take baits.”
“Some smart dogs do not get shot.”
“However, trapping, with the right trapper doing it the right way, is the very best way to get those dogs that cannot be got rid of in any other way.”
Mr van Holst Pellekaan also told parliament it was every landholder’s obligation – including those who do not run cattle or sheep – to remove wild dogs from their property.
“If you have one station that does not run cattle or sheep, and so is not personally incentivised to remove the dogs, then every other station near that one which does run cattle or sheep is penalised and punished by the fact that the dogs can breed up and live very happily on the one station with no stock, jump the fence at night, predate the others and then come back to safety during the day,” he said.
“Some pastoral leases are used for tourism, or for mining, or for heritage, or conservation or Aboriginal cultural issues.”
“All those things may be very good pursuits on that land, but those landholders are still 100 per cent obliged to remove the wild dogs from their property and they must fulfill that responsibility.”