AUTHORITIES have issued a recommendation to farmers to make the best of a bad situation by trapping and baiting feral pigs at livestock feed points, where they are being sighted with increasing regularity.
Central West Local Land Services (CWLLS) claim the devastating conditions across the Orange and Central West region – brought about by the prolonged drought – has forced the pests to migrate to areas which are concentrated with livestock.
CWLLS senior biosecurity officer Craig Ridley said landholders are reporting an increase in feral pig sightings while they are hand-feeding stock, something they are being forced to do more of as the dry spell continues and grass feed becomes more scarce.
“The drought conditions are seeing feral pigs seeking out feed and water from places they would normally avoid,” Mr Ridley said.
We are advising landholders to take action while these pest species are gathered in larger than normal numbers.
“They are proving quite resourceful in accessing feeders and other feeding points, and co-habitating with livestock to do so.”
Sharing feed and water points greatly increases the chance of spreading disease among farm animals, and even people.
“Feral pigs can carry diseases such as leptospirosis and brucellosis, which can be spread to both livestock and humans with significant health related implications to both,” Mr Ridley explained.
While the situation is not ideal, the CWLLS said it presented an opportunity to carry out trapping, baiting or a combination of both to effectively reduce the feral pig population.
We are advising landholders to take action while these pest species are gathered in larger than normal numbers,” Mr Ridley said.
CWLLS biosecurity staff are more than willing to assist landholders with technical advice on best-practice control methods, including trap design and set up, and, where appropriate, the supply of poison.
To find out more about feral pig control, visit www.lls.nsw.gov.au/pestplan to review the Central West Regional Strategic Pest Animal Management Plan, or contact your nearest CWLLS biosecurity officer on 1300 795 299.