Farmers urged to join the fight against feral animals

NSW Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall calls for farmers to join Feral Fighters program

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North West and Northern Tablelands farmers are being encouraged to sign up to the Feral Fighters program to help stop feral pigs in their tracks. Photo: Supplied

North West and Northern Tablelands farmers are being encouraged to sign up to the Feral Fighters program to help stop feral pigs in their tracks. Photo: Supplied

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Program to give farmers tools to help combat feral animals.

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FARMERS in the state's North West and Northern Tablelands regions are being urged to join the fight against feral animals.

A new state-government funded project called Feral Fighters gives producers the tools to combat pest animals and more locals are being urged to join the cause.

Northern Tablelands MP and NSW Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall said the program would tackle a variety of different animals but would have a clear focus on the issue of feral pigs.

"Feral Fighters are local landholders who work together in groups to undertake co-ordinated pest animal control programs, on the ground and from the air," Mr Marshall said.

"Between now and June, the program is facilitating a co-ordinated feral pig management program, with trapping, baiting and aerial culling to be undertaken in certain areas to supplement on-ground controls.

"Feral pigs pose a high risk of disease to livestock and cause significant environmental damage in the landscape."

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Mr Marshall said teamwork would go a long way to helping overcome the setbacks caused by feral animals.

"Group baiting and trapping strategically targets pest animal populations in a specific location and is an effective way to reduce the rate of re-invasion.

"The aim of the program is the mass reduction of pest animals. By working together, a wider knockdown of the target species can be achieved."

Farmers who register for the Feral Fighters program will receive assistance from their Local Land Services (LLS) in the form of free grain for feeding and poisoning, as well as loaning pig traps at no cost.

"LLS biosecurity officers will explain to farmers how to set up pig traps and provide free feed grain to get the best results," Mr Marshall said.

"Working together is pivotal to the program's success and I encourage landholders to contact their local biosecurity officer so they can get on board this highly effective program."

Research conducted by feral pig expert Darren Marshall, from Southern Queensland Landscapes, has proven that the knockdown success rate increases the longer free feeding can occur and that 70 per cent of the feral pig population needs to be removed in order to have an impact.

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