Spike in pig numbers needs urgent action

Beef Central, 21/03/2023

Farmers  in New South Wales say an explosion in feral pig numbers on public lands in the north and west of the state has resulted in massive damage to properties and livestock.

Across NSW more than 34,000 hoofed feral animals – including pigs, deer and goats – had been culled since November, but the feral pig population remains “enormous” according to affected landholders.

NSW Farmers member Peter Mailler was still seeing them run across his front lawn at North Star, and he said they presented a huge biosecurity risk if not controlled.

“They’re doing enormous damage to property and the numbers are as bad as I’ve ever seen them,” Mr Mailler said.

“We need effective pest control management plans with the resources and commitment of all parties to tackle feral pests and weeds so we can get on top of them and stay on top of  them.

“Farmers can’t do this individually – pigs and other pests don’t respect property boundaries, the state needs to ramp up efforts and do the job properly.”

According to the NSW Government, feral pigs were a “key threatening process” as they spread weeds and disease, hunt native animals and damage the environment. They also posed a problem for farmers as they preyed on newborn lambs, eat and destroy grain crops and pastures, and damage fences.

Bronwyn Petrie from the NSW Farmers Conservation and Resource Management Committee said while farmers were active in trying to control pest animals and weeds on their properties, a lack of effective control on public lands was undermining their efforts.

“Farmers know that’s where the pigs are breeding because we see them coming onto our farms from public lands,” Mrs Petrie said.

“Yet over the past seven years there hasn’t been a single prosecution on public land managers for animal pests.

“Unless there is an urgent and coordinated control effort on all land – public and private – this problem will only get worse.”

Tamworth sheep producer Norm Thomas said he lost 120 lambs this year – estimated to be worth about $24,000 – to feral animals, and agreed there needed to be a major control effort.

“We’re not sure if they were killed by pigs or wild dogs, but I’m pretty sure they were pigs,” Mr Thomas said.

“The problem here is that not every landholder wants to do their part in controlling pest animals, but that just gives them safe country to breed in.

“You hear these politicians talk about the importance of biosecurity, and yet they allow this huge biosecurity threat to run roughshod across the state.”

Mrs Petrie said NSW Farmers had called for a commitment from both sides of politics to tackle the issue, by establishing an independent Natural Resource Regulator to coordinate and enforce management of public lands including National Parks (which take up 10 per cent of the state’s total area) and other Crown lands, a commitment to ongoing funding and resourcing for National Parks management, and sustainable funding to Local Land Services for pests and weeds management to build long-term resourcing certainty.

“The agencies and organisations are there, the rules are there, there just need to be resources and enforcement,” Mrs Petrie said.

“Regardless of who owns a piece of land, everyone has a responsibility to do their part in keeping pests and weeds under control.

“We can see huge problems on the horizon if we don’t do this job properly.”

Source: NSW Farmer


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  1. Shane Helm, 06/07/2023

    Responsible hunter 48 years old hold DPI R licence and lm insured with APDHA if any properties adjoining any State Forests need a hand Happy to help out .
    Shane 0431 753 410

  2. Dennis Glover, 24/03/2023

    Need to work with farmers .government national parks to get numbers to seek to government member .

  3. Dennis Glover, 24/03/2023

    I shoot trap and catch hogs regular for farmers. Yes numbers are high.i need More traps but expensive to buy if I could be supplied more could do better. i want to be supplying the pet food industry not to waste product can any one help please.cheers

  4. Gordon Schultejohann, 23/03/2023

    Gordon schultejohann
    6 Talty Rise
    Regents Park Qld 4118
    0418 222 697
    I have been an avid shooter and hunter for 45 years. And a member of the SSAA for many years. And registered with the Farmer assist program.
    I have access to private properties in Cobar, Hillend , Stanthorpe, and Munduberra,
    Some are too far to drive others, not much to hunt.
    It would be great to help out other property owners to clean up the feral problem.
    I have experience with hunting Dogs , goats, pigs , cats, foxes, etc.
    I always have the utmost respect for property ,plant ,
    Livestock, closing gates.
    I am willing to travel, and often spend two weeks at a time, camping and hunting.
    Your feed back would be appreciated.
    Yours sincerely
    Gordon schultejohann.

    • Gordon Schultejohann, 21/07/2023

      In light of the proposed gun laws changes, & lack of hunting properties, I have sold all of my firearms.

  5. Kevin Huckel, 23/03/2023

    In addition to the offers below, if it’s a National problem why not us the ADF?

  6. Pete, 23/03/2023

    I’ve never even owned a gun, but hunting pigs sounds like something I’d be interested in.

    I live in Perth, so it would have to be somewhat of a FIFO gig.

    How much does this type of work pay? Is it per pig? How many pigs could you find in an hour?

  7. tony musgrovr, 23/03/2023

    allow shooters to use sound moderators on rifles
    with less noise more pigs can be shot they are allowed to be used every where else in the world why not here

  8. Kevin Kiri, 22/03/2023

    Maybe the NSW & QLD Governments could issue 6 rounds of ammunition in exchange for either 2 ears or a tail from each feral animal shot by any licensed gun owner, these rounds could be exchanged at any gun shop that has an arrangement with each State Government, Permits to shoot on public land could be issued at the local police station as a record of whose where culling these animals.

  9. Geoffrey Mcewan, 22/03/2023

    Funny enough there’s 1000s of r licence holders and hunters with insurance from gun ,dogs and bow. Yet about 1% of hunters are lucky enough to find a property to help resolve the pest problem. There’s literally 1000s out there willing to help and 3rd parties to take care of the whole liability at no cost to the farmers if any thing they can make money out of it.
    Yet I bet no farmers come forward asking for help.

  10. Les, 22/03/2023

    A problem isn’t a problem if it’s not a problem, this is still a big problem.

  11. Chris J Carter, 22/03/2023

    I’m a licensed firearms holder in NSW.
    Im a marineengineerby profession.
    I wish to find a property to assist landholders holders in reducing the feral pig, fox & cat numbers.

    Rifles & ammunition are expensive, but nil charge.
    However, will require accommodation in shearing quarters please.
    Any interested property owners please contact via my email address.
    Speak soon,

  12. Wayne Holland, 21/03/2023

    I totally agree about the feral pigs numbers being out of control, I have pigs climbing over pigs at the moment, since the middle of January we have eradicated well over 700 pigs and there seems to be no end in sight, I have water through damage, dug up pipelines, they foul the water so bad that the stock can’t water, the NPWS could be doing a lot more to help this situation as well, much of our boundaries are with NP, fed up repair fencing, damaged waterlines troughs , as we are organic we can’t bait and shooting and trapping is getting nowhere.

    • Paul Macpherson, 22/03/2023

      Hi Wayne, I am 49 yrs old and a keen and respectful hunter, I hunt on properties in Vic and qld, and would greatly appreciate another place to hunt which may help to eradicate some more pigs. for you, Please email me if your interested and we can have a chat, cheers Paul.

  13. Dave wornes, 21/03/2023

    As a pig hunter for 45 years there is no register for help for farmers with pig problems. We do pig dog eradication in Qld in the Cunnamulla region.we know first hand the damage they do.we travel from Vic to help .something needs to be done

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