April 4, 2013
Farmers have called on the Federal Coalition to deliver a clear election promise on lifting Labor’s aerial baiting ban in Victoria. “Aerial baiting is crucial to controlling the thousands of wild dogs that roam through the state’s north-east, Gippsland and parts of the north-west,” Victorian Farmers Federation President Peter Tuohey said. “Wild dogs are not only tearing apart farmers’ livelihoods; they’re leaving livestock with horrific injuries. “It’s as much an animal welfare issue as it is economic. We want a clear, rock-solid election promise from the Federal Coalition that, if elected, they will clear the way for 1080 aerial baiting in Victoria.” Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke has blocked the Victorian Government’s attempts to conduct 1080 aerial baiting. Mr Burke has told the Victorian Government aerial baiting cannot go ahead unless it delivers evidence that 1080 baiting has no impact on native quolls in Victoria. This is despite peer-reviewed research conducted by CSIRO in NSW showing 1080 baiting had no significant impact on quolls. (See: Peer-reviewed research references – below). VFF Omeo Branch President Simon Turner said aerial baiting was not just about livestock it was also about the native wildlife that were being killed by wild dogs – including quolls. “How is it that NSW is allowed to aerial bait while Victoria is refused permission to do exactly the same?” Mr Turner said. “Does Tony Burke think quolls behave differently once they cross the Victorian NSW border? “Aerial baiting is one of the few tools, along with trapping, that we’ve got to control dogs in the state’s more remote and inaccessible areas. “You have to remember that these remote areas are breeding grounds for dogs that then invade farmland and decimate wildlife. “We want our National and Liberal Party MPs to come out clear and strong on supporting aerial baiting well before the September 14 Federal Election.” Mr Tuohey said the VFF was urging farmers to lobby their local National and Liberal Party MPs for a commitment to aerial baiting. Peer-reviewed research references “Aerial baiting had no observable impact on the local radio-collared quoll population, a finding consistent with results from a similar study recently conducted in northern New South Wales,” – Andrew W. Claridge and Douglas J. Mills, CSIRO – Wildlife Research, 2007, 34, 116–124 “The experimental baiting trial had no measurable short-term impact on the quoll population living in an area with no current history of aerial baiting for wild dogs.” – Gerhard Körtner – CSIRO – Wildlife Research, 2007, 34, 48–53. “Mortality attributable to this particular aerial baiting campaign was low, apparently because few quolls ate bait and most of those that did survive. Track counts for predators indicated a significant decrease in dog and fox numbers after baiting. Cat activity remained unchanged and the number of quoll tracks increased.” – Gerhard Kortner – CSIRO – Wildlife Research 2005, 32. 673-680.