Wild dogs in South Australia now have a $120 bounty on their heads under a $100,000 scheme announced by the state government. The bounty is part of a $21 million dollar drought relief package. Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said the wild dog bounty will provide financial support to pastoralists in the outback and farmers suffering through extended drought conditions.
“The impact of wild dogs on pastoral regions is significant, costing livestock producers almost $90 million every year,” said Minister Whetstone. “While only landholders will be able to collect the bounty, shooters are able to hunt the dogs where invited to do so by farmers.
“Given the current need to reduce non-essential travel to slow the spread of coronavirus, it is important shooters do not go to farming areas to hunt dogs without specific permission of the landholder.”
SSAA South Australia has welcomed the announcement along with the opportunity it presents for their Conservation and Wildlife Management groups as well as Farmer Assist volunteers and individual members. “South Australian farmers can still receive the bounty by using volunteer members from the Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia’s Farmer Assist program if they don’t have time to cull wild dogs themselves”, said SSAA Wildlife Officer Matt Godson.
“Targeting wild dogs requires a certain skill set which many of our members possess and after the hard time many farmers have endured through drought, there are plenty of our members who are more than willing to lend a hand where they can.”
The bounty will be paid to landholders who must submit photographic evidence of each dog killed humanely on their land for verification. The scheme will run until June 30, 2021 or until the allocated funding is exhausted.
Across the border in Victoria, Sheep Central reports that existing fox and wild dog bounties will continue but collection centres will close until further notice due to social distancing measures. Agriculture Victoria is encouraging hunters to continue collecting fox scalps and wild dog skins which they’ll be able to submit once the centres re-open.