August 22, 2013
Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, has announced the creation of a pilot program to combat the growing issue of feral pigs on the Liverpool Plains.
Ms Hodgkinson made the announcement at the Commonwealth Bank AgQuip Field Days in Gunnedah today with The Nationals MP for Tamworth, Kevin Anderson, who will chair the Tamworth Regional Feral Pig Taskforce (TRFPT).
Ms Hodgkinson said she is concerned current control measures are not working.
“Feral pigs have enormous direct and daily impacts on agricultural production, they pose an enormous biosecurity risk and are also a major biodiversity threat by harming native flora, fauna and ecosystems,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
“My office has received reports from right across NSW about the scale of the feral pig problem and the situation is now becoming critical.
“An elevated, co-ordinated, tenure-blind and strategic response is now required.”
Mr Anderson said a meeting of the TRFPT will be held in Gunnedah at the first available opportunity and will feature all relevant local agencies, landholders and stakeholders to develop a feral pig control plan and campaign for the region.
“The agricultural impact of feral pigs on crops in this region is staggering, with crop yields severely impacted and costing tens of thousands of dollars in lost income,” he said.
“This issue cannot be ignored. We need to work quickly and proactively to drive down feral pig numbers across the region.”
Ms Hodgkinson said the creation of Local Land Services (LLS) – which will combine the resources of Livestock Health and Pest Authorities, Catchment Management Authorities and some Department of Primary Industries (DPI) agricultural advisory services – will ensure a more co-ordinated approach to combating feral pests in NSW.
“The creation of this taskforce is about ensuring that resources are used to enable a more co-ordinated approach to combat this urgent problem, ahead of LLS becoming operational in January 2014,” Ms Hodgkinson said.