Wild dog control

Eildon MP Cindy McLeish has called on the Labor Government to hold a community drop-in session in the Yarra Ranges as part of its Wild Dog Control planning for the 2024-25. Picture: ON FILE

By Cindy McLeish

Wild Dogs in the Yarra Ranges are a problem, and they are a problem that is not going away anytime soon.

Many readers will be aware that Wild dogs in North East Victoria have been an issue for years.

What some of you may be surprised to learn is the proliferation of wild dogs in the Yarra Ranges and the State Government’s seeming ignorance of the problem.

We know that where you have deer, you have wild dogs, and we know that deer numbers are exploding.

All hunters need to make sure they remove carcasses and do not leave anything behind.

I have raised my concerns, and those of the many locals I have met with, in Parliament.

I have called on the Labor Government to hold a community drop-in session in the Yarra Ranges as part of its Wild Dog Control planning for the 2024-25.

I have met with landowners across the Yarra Ranges about the impact wild dogs are having on their livelihoods.

In Hoddles Creek, there is one farmer who had several sheep severely attacked and needed veterinary care.

Just this week a farmer contacted me who recently lost 15 sheep in a wild dog attack at her property in McMahons Creek.

Not only has she lost thousands of dollars in revenue, but she had the devastation of having to put sheep down because they could not be saved.

There have also been sightings of packs of wild dogs coming on to private property that borders the forest and even around schools. In one instance, a group of school children encountered dogs and a camper had her tent destroyed.

Yarra Ranges residents are calling for Wild Dog Management plans and a local trapper to help them manage the wild dogs in the area.

The Department of Agriculture is hosting a series of community ‘drop-in’ sessions for locals in the Hume and Gippsland regions to discuss wild dog management with their local Wild Dog Controller and provide input on the Wild Dog Program’s wild dog control.

There are none planned for the Yarra Ranges.

I recently attended a meeting in Merrijig where the locals took the opportunity to discuss local action and management plans.

I am very disappointed that these drop-in sessions are only being held in the Hume and Gippsland regions.

The wild dog problem is no longer contained to just these regions.

These voracious predators have migrated south and are endangering the lives of livestock and posing a significant threat to the safety and livelihoods of Yarra Ranges residents.

The Minister must take action now.

Wild dogs have a significant and detrimental impact on the communities, livestock, and native wildlife across much of Northeast Victoria.

The Victorian Department of Agriculture estimates that wild dogs cost livestock producers an estimated $13-$18 million annually.

Farmers and Residents must report wild dog sightings their local Wild Dog Controller or call / email 136 186 or wild.dogs@delwp.vic.gov.au