WORKING dogs are the backbone of many livestock businesses, so it makes sense they are producers' top priority when planning feral predator control programs.
Understanding this, the National Wild Dog Action Plan and the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions have joined forces with industry partners Wool Producers Australia, Sheep Producers Australia, Animal Health Australia and NSW Local Land Services, to create a new video 'Using Muzzles for Working Dog Safety'.
The video features leading working dog trainer and breeder Joe Spicer, of GoGetta Kelpie stud, Glenthompson, Vic, and National Wild Dog management coordinator Greg Mifsud.
It is a practical, how-to guide for helping livestock managers and stock hands introduce and use muzzles on their dogs without compromising their working performance, comfort or safety.
Mr Mifsud said the NWDAP and its industry partners recognises some producers are reluctant to bait, even when suffering significant stock losses from foxes and wild dogs.
"Working dogs are highly valued by livestock businesses, in fact the Australian Farm Dog Survey (2013) estimated a dog's lifetime median work value at $40,000, with a 5.2-fold return on investment," he said.
"Given this, it's understandable people don't want to put their dogs at risk, however, this video shows how livestock managers can have their cake and eat it too.
"It enables them to train their dogs to work effectively and safely, while employing best practice baiting techniques as part of strategic, coordinated predator-control programs."
- Details: pestsmart.org.au