Funds to tackle feral pig problem

Daryna ZadvirnaNarrogin Observer
Natural Resource Management officer Gen Harvey with a feral pig camera monitor.
Camera IconNatural Resource Management officer Gen Harvey with a feral pig camera monitor. Credit: Kellie Balaam

Wagin Woodanilling Landcare Zone has received more than $27,000 in State funding to tackle the region’s feral pig problem.

The grant was part of $300,000 received by four community-led initiatives aimed to increase monitoring, trapping and shooting of feral pigs.

WWLZ manager Gen Harvey said a partial focus of the project was identifying the extent of the issue in the area, which became apparent in the last several years.

“I suspect what happened was they became much more mobile after the floods in 2017, as pigs need to have water close by and there’d be much more of it out on the landscape,” she said.

“But after it dried up, they started encroaching onto farms looking for water supplies, food and things like that.”

Ms Harvey said the funds would be used to set up cameras and traps to monitor the feral pig population, as well as workshops to help farmers with management strategies.

“Farmers may often go out and shoot them but it isn’t always the best option for controlling big numbers, so we’re looking to hold a couple of workshops with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development to talk about other effective options,” she said.

“We’ll also look at subsidising the cost of traps for farmers.”

Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the four grant recipient groups would work with landholders to reduce feral pig populations across the northern agricultural, central Wheatbelt, Blackwood and Peel-Harvey regions.

“Community-based groups around WA play a vital role in helping coordinate the control of invasive species at a regional level,” she said.

“Feral pigs are highly destructive to our natural environment, as well as being highly mobile and capable of spreading devastating livestock diseases like African Swine Fever, should it reach Australia.”

The State Government also released the WA Feral Pig Strategy 2020-25 last week, to provide guidance to stakeholders on a strategic approach to the management of feral pigs in WA.

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