Pigs targeted in aerial program
25 June 2019
An aerial pest control program has been carried out in the Rankins Springs and Lake Brewster regions, eradicating 699 pests, including 569 feral pigs.
The program run by Riverina Local Land Services targeted numerous pest species, but pigs were the main focus due to their impact on agricultural production and the environment.
“The operation followed a natural funnel formed by the Lachlan and Cocoparra ranges. This area was targeted because the topography provides an ideal transit route for feral animals - it’s difficult to access and provides plenty of cover for them,” Biosecurity Officer Eliza Bramma said.
“Pigs are a major biosecurity risk to agriculture because of the diseases they carry, they also physically damage crops, pastures and native vegetation. We’ve had ongoing reports from graziers in the region of them competing with sheep on feeders and predating on new lambs.”
“Farmers are doing their best in a very tough season so hopefully this program will ease the pressure this year in that region.”
Landholder Mat Molloy, between Binya and Rankins Springs, had 38 feral pigs shot on his property in the program.
“The pigs are massively growing problem, the rate they’re proliferating at is far more than what just one farmer can effectively manage,” Mr Molloy said.
“I’ve had mixed results using trapping and ground shooting but I’m going to keep working on it after this knockdown. I don’t think I have a constant population of pigs, they just move around in mobs. The beauty of an aerial shoot is they are not restricted by boundaries but we can’t rely solely on one method of control, it needs to be a combination.”
Ms Bramma said the aerial program was fully subsidised for farmers this year, as were traps and baits.
“Many landholders in that region are trapping, ground shooting and baiting so they’re trying their hardest to manage populations. A crucial part of our role is helping them do this, particularly in drought conditions.”
In total 569 feral pigs, 90 feral goats, 29 wild deer, 9 foxes and 2 feral cats were culled. Landholders could opt out of having feral goats shot on their property if they harvest them.
The program was an inter-agency approach, with National Parks, State Forest and private landholders involved.
Media contact: Simone Norrie - 0419 648 813 - Riverina Local Land Services