THE development of new toxins and toxin-delivery devices plus the increasing use of livestock guardian dogs for flock protection, are part of the fight against wild dogs.
National wild dog coordinator Greg Mifsud said two new control methods – Paramino Propriophenone and an M44 mechanical ejector device – would soon be sent to the Australian Veterinary Medicines & Pesticides Authority to be reviewed for registration in Australia for the management of wild dogs and foxes.
“PAPP is not there to replace 1080, but to complement it,” he said.
“PAPP has an antidote and symptoms of death are more acceptable to the general public.
“PAPP will fill in the gap with producers that do not take up 1080 baiting out of concern for their domestic dogs.
“1080 is always going to be the best option in baiting for wild dog control as it is the most target-specific and environmentally sensitive poison we have, but PAPP will hopefully increase participation.
“We need as many toxins and tools as possible to manage wild dogs.”
The new poison had been used in a number of field trials for management of wild dogs, foxes and feral cats across Australia.
But there was an issue with goannas being susceptible to PAPP, and management may need to focus on using baits in cooler months when goannas were not so active.
“The PAPP registration package is due to be submitted to APVMA in the coming months and we hope it could become commercially available next year, depending on various state legislation processes,” he said.
The M44 mechanical ejector device was also in the registration process. The device consists of a spring-loaded piston-ejector with a capsule of poison inside a bait head ejected into the animal’s mouth when it pulled on the bait.
“These devices are quite species-specific as they require 2.7 kilograms of vertical force to set them off and the only species capable of doing so in the Australia landscape are foxes and wild dogs,” he said.
“These devices are hammered into the ground and can’t be unknowingly shifted by dogs and other non-target animals, meaning the producer can mark the bait position when they are put out and collect them before mustering, unlike current baits that can be moved and put domestic working dogs at risk.”
The registration package for these devices was about to be submitted to the authority and it was hoped that registration for use with 1080 would go through by the end of the year.
After a product was registered nationally, it was still up to the State Government to formulate legislation framework for its use.
“The Invasive Animals CRC is working closely with state authorities to develop state regulations for the use of these tools so they can be used in dog-control programs as soon as possible,” he said.
Maremma guardian dogs were increasingly being used by sheep and goat producers around the country to protect livestock.
“The development and distribution of the best-practice manual on the use of guardian dogs has provided producers with the confidence to try guardian dogs,” he said.
“There is a lot of potential for the use of these guardian dogs in South Australia, but it is a new landscape and it will involve some trial-and-error to get it right. Maybe using them with stud flocks in smaller paddocks, rather than really large areas where the sheep can spread out, because it becomes more difficult for the dogs to keep an eye on the flock.”
He said while landholders were required to control wild dogs inside the fence under legislation, it was very difficult to enforce. Full report in Stock Journal, March 22 issue, 2012.