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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 935 asked in the Legislative Council on 11 October 2018 by Hon Jacqui Boydell

Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on

PASTORAL LANDS — FERAL ANIMAL CULLING MANAGEMENT

935. Hon JACQUI BOYDELL to the Minister for Agriculture and Food:

I refer to culling management programs for feral animals on pastoral lands, which includes poisoning, shooting on the ground and shooting from helicopters.

(1) How many times a year do these programs take place?

(2) What process currently exists for the collection of carcasses?

(3) Does the minister acknowledge that uncollected carcasses provide a feeding source for wild dogs?

(4) If no guidelines or policies exist on the collection of carcasses, will the minister consider developing one?

Hon ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:

I thank the member for the question.

(1) This financial year, 14 aerial feral animal control programs are scheduled across the Kimberley, Pilbara and goldfields areas. Most areas where control is undertaken are subject to one or two control programs a year. These programs are undertaken by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development on behalf of the relevant recognised biosecurity groups.

(2) Collection is not practical given the vast areas covered by the programs, the size of the carcasses, and the potential cost of undertaking the program. Additionally, the recognised biosecurity groups undertake wild dog control in the broad areas where other vertebrate pests are controlled.

(3) Wild dogs can use vertebrate pest carcasses as a food source; however, limited research indicates that the consumption of vertebrate pest carcasses by wild dogs is lower than expected. This is due to the unpredictable distribution of carcasses in space and time, and the rapid removal of edible biomass in warm conditions.

(4) All shooting control programs are done under strict guidelines and approval processes. Collection of carcasses is not required under these guidelines, as this is impractical and prohibitively expensive in remote areas.