News

Valley called to repel pig menace

THE Clarence Valley has been called to arms to repel a feral pig menace on its northern borders.

Wetland Care Australia wants to hear from landholders around the Clarence Broadwater to join forces in the battle against one of Australia's most dangerous feral pests.

The senior project officer of Wetland Care's Eastern Australian Wetlands and Water Program, Simone Haigh, said pig numbers in the Broadwater had grown to the extent they were "trashing" the ecosystem.

"Every time I go down there you see a herd of them and the damage they do to wetlands is really bad.

"They dig up the ground with their snouts which disturbs the substrate of the soil and they're heavy animals, so they destroy vegetation.

"And being pigs, they love to wallow in the mud."

Ms Haigh said feral pigs also posed a danger to humans as they could spread diseases, especially the potentially lethal leptospirosis.

They cause approximately $100 million in agricultural damage per year in NSW and Queensland alone.

The Wetland Care campaign strategy involves a combination of shooting, trapping and baiting.

"A pig expert I've been talking to said shooting the lead pigs in groups makes them easier to bait and trap," Ms Haigh said.

Ms Haigh will soon meet with Livestock Health and Pest Authorities to see how the campaign can work in with LHPA programs.

"We have a number of bait stations and traps available for use by anyone who would like to rid their properties of this pest animal," she said.

"Winter is the ideal time to do this because natural food stocks are low and the pigs are more likely to be attracted to the baits.

"If baiting or trapping is not practical we can also employ the services of professional pig hunters, in consultation with landowners.

"Landowners who report any pig sightings or damage to us will also help us to build up a picture of pig movement in the area. There is no cost to landowners to participate in the program."

Landowners who wish to report a sighting or register their interest in accessing baits, traps or hunters are encouraged to contact Simone Haigh at WetlandCare Australia on 6681. 6169 or email

Topics:  baiting feral pigs hunting lhpa



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