The state's first feral pig coordinator will roll out a boosted $13 million control program to support farmers as the NSW Government steps up its war on pest animals.
The new coordinator, Bec Gray, brings to the role 12 years of experience working directly with landholders to manage feral pigs and other pest animals.
Throughout the next eight months, she will drive the program to cull at least 87,000 feral pigs across NSW with high focus on three priority hotspots.
Regional culling targets have been allocated with reductions set for:
The hotspots are known as "landscape control zones" and are based on known feral pig populations, impacts on agricultural and environmental assets, plus known landholder control efforts.
The three landscape control zones are at the intersecting boundaries of Riverina, Western and Central West Local Land Services regions adjacent to the Lachlan River, east of Gilgandra and the Newell Highway, north of Dunedoo, west of Coolah, south of Coonabarabran within the Central West Local Land Services boundary, and Lower Gwydir River sub-catchment west of Moree, east of Collarenebri within the North West Local Land Services region.
This model has proven to be a leading approach to pest animal management, with biosecurity officers and landholders working side by side, across private and public land.
NSW Local Land Services will adapt programs based on feral pig behaviours and movements.
With predicted dry conditions and warm weather over summer, control programs will focus around water resources as feral pigs will concentrate in these areas as other water sources deplete.
Local Land Services Feral Pig Coordinator Bec Gray said:
"I am excited to get started and work with a fantastic team as part of this new role."
"We are here to provide support to farmers and to help coordinate large-scale feral pig control programs. Land managers need to play their role and participate in these programs.
"I have seen firsthand the damage feral pigs cause to agricultural production and the environment, and I am pleased to see a dedicated feral pig program to assist landowners to manage this issue.
"One of the focuses of this program is capacity-building, to ensure landholders can continue to manage feral pigs on their property into the future to protect their farming operations.
"The more landholders taking part in control programs, the more successful they will be at reducing feral pig numbers and protecting farming operations.
"I encourage farmers and land managers to get in contact with their nearest Local Land Services Biosecurity Officer and work closely with their neighbours in coordinated programs as this gets the best results."
Highlights of the NSW Government's program include:
. NSW's first dedicated feral pig coordinator appointed to lead the program
. Establishing 3 priority landscape control zones to knock down numbers and reduce impacts in feral pig hotspots across Riverina, northwest, and western NSW
. Boosting regional control programs, including 46 of the highly effective aerial shooting campaigns, and further support existing landholder driven programs
. Equipping farmers with 99 capacity building events to inform them on the latest tools and advice needed to actively manage pest animals
. Fully subsidising the cost of treating grain to bait feral pigs for farmers participating in the Feral Fighters program.
Contact your nearest Local Land Services office on 1300 795 299 or visit www.lls.nsw.gov.au for more information on how to get involved in the Feral Pig Control Program 2023-24.
Agriculture Minister Tara Moriarty said:
"We have listened to farmers' concerns since we were elected to government, and we have now delivered a practical plan that will tackle the feral pig population in NSW, getting results in the paddocks and for communities."
"Feral pigs are destructive animals that have huge impacts to farming operations, our economy and our biodiversity.
"I welcome Bec Gray to the pig coordinator role and look forward to her leading the way in managing the feral pigs program.
"This new $13 million program is modelled on extremely successful pig control programs and is targeting areas across the state with high density feral pig populations to get the greatest impact on pig numbers.
"A strong focus of the program is supporting landholders through practical training to help control feral pigs on their properties and subsided feral pig bait.
"Tackling a rising feral pig population requires government and farmers to work side by side, and this program will do exactly that." -
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