WILD dog baiting programs are set to intensify over the coming weeks.
The number of wild dog sightings is increasing, and the dry spell means the dogs will be looking for new prey.
North Coast Local Land Services invasive species and plant health team leader Dean Chamberlain said the LLS was kick-starting their group control programs before the breeding season.
"Over the last three or four years, the number of wild dog attacks on livestock have been reasonably low because of the abundance of kangaroos, wallabies and other wildlife.
"Now we're in a dry spell, those native wildlife will stop breeding as much and their numbers will reduce.
"Wild dog numbers will otherwise remain high and so the likelihood of attack numbers increasing in spring season is high, unless control measures are carried out now and in the following months."
He said there were a number of group areas within the Clarence Valley who baited on an as-needed or proactive basis.
Mr Chamberlain's comments follow a remark from Prime Minister Tony Abbott about the "absolutely devastating" impact of wild dogs on the sheep industry in Northern NSW.
"We don't have a sheep industry on the coast as such, but we do get the impacts on the cattle industry, particularly on calves," he said.
Mr Chamberlain said the increasing number of hobby farms in the valley meant attacks on smaller animals, such as alpacas, goats and sheep, were becoming increasingly prevalent.
He said the LLS received notification of over 300 calves killed by wild dogs each year.
"And there'd be about 300 attacks on goats, sheep and alpacas," he said.
With the breeding season approaching for the wild dogs, Mr Chamberlain warned the animals would become territorial.
"We're not going to be able to eradicate wild dogs completely, but we can minimise the impacts with co-ordinated, proactive group baiting programs."
The baiting programs will run from now through to spring.
Landholders wishing to become qualified to lay 1080 can contact the LLS and ask about their free Vertebrate Pest Induction Training course.
Wild dog baiting
- 16,000 baits laid per year across NSW North Coast.
- 5000 baits laid per year across the Clarence Valley.
- Local land holders in an area get together and form a group to lay baits to control wild dogs.
- Baits are made by injecting a 250g piece of ox heart injected with 1080 poison.
- Baits are made by the LLS.
- 1080 inhibits the uptake of oxygen at a cellular level.
- It is toxic to dogs, cats and foxes.
- Baiting is very target specific.
- A pesticide control order regulates the use of 1080.
- Transportation, where and how it is laid, distance restrictions from neighbouring properties and boundaries are taken into consideration.
- Landholders can lay the bait if they hold either an AQF 3 chemical certificate or have completed a free Vertebrate Pest Induction
- Training course through the LLS.
- All birds and reptiles, and most native species have a high tolerance to 1080.