Editorial: Last Hurdle for Sheep Farmers

Filed in Opinions, Recent News by September 19, 2017

IT is rare to be able to rally private industry and a swag of government departments to agree on a workable solution for the devastating wild dog problem, but that is exactly what local sheep farmers have been able to achieve.

But Craig Murphy, chair of the Hunter Valley Combined Wild Dog Group, said the main hurdle they now face is getting help from other farmers.

The wild dog problem is not a problem sheep farmers should have to face on their own and it surprised me that sheep farmers are finding it difficult to get other farmers to care about their plight enough to act and proactively support the new program.

While there are stories of wild dogs taking down calves and chasing thoroughbreds which show the increasing threat they are to other livestock, many farmers who don’t feel they are directly impacted aren’t taking a proactive approach to help control wild dogs.

The wild dogs don’t respect boundaries between private properties, government owned land, cattle farms, lucerne paddocks, horse studs or mines it is all one big hunting ground to them.

The dogs travel through crops on one property to get to the sheep at the neighbours, so for the new wild dog initiative to work it will need every landholder to look after their neighbour.

It is wonderful in times of hardship, such as the recent fires to see farmers and whole communities band together in support of people who have suffered loss and that is what needs to happen for our sheep farmers now.

After such a huge effort to get mines and government departments to back them, I hope local sheep farmers can take the last hurdle to make this new program work with the support of other farmers.

Related story: Sheep Farmers Hopeful

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Elizabeth Flaherty
Editor – scone.com.au

 

 

 

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