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Media Release
The Hon Dr Sharman Stone
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Murray

22 February 2002

Wild Dog Problem Needs Urgent Co-operation

* Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Heritage, will open the National Wild Dog Summit at the Civic and Convention Centre in Wodonga on Friday February 22nd at 10am.

Wild dogs marauding stock across the rangelands and grazing country of Victoria and New South Wales needs to be urgently, and jointly addressed, according to Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Heritage.

"We are at a critical point in losing the battle or finding better solutions to the problem", Sharman Stone said.

"The Bureau of Rural Sciences has estimated that the total cost of stock and wildlife lost to wild dog attacks in Australia each year is over $20 million".

"Wild dogs kill endangered native animals like the long footed potoroo, as well as causing severe economic and social impacts on breeders across the country".

Sharman Stone said that as a sixth generation woolgrower she knew only too well the cruelty to young animals and cost of wild dog and town dog attacks.

"The Federal Government is addressing these issues through the $2.5 billion Natural Heritage Trust. The National Feral Animal Control program is currently funding a number of wild dog projects across Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory", Sharman Stone said.

'We have moved on from a reliance on trapping, shooting, ground baiting, bounty payments and even the construction of the world's longest dog proof fence to using new techniques like livestock guarding dogs, poison ejecting devices and toxic collars".

"This is not just about how best to destroy wild dogs. Today's summit is all about how to also protect the last few pure bred dingoes. We need to work co-operatively to achieve the elimination of wild dogs as well as native species protection".

"I look forward to hearing from scientists, farmers and the community on what further steps need to be taken to prevent the social, economic and environmental impacts of wild dogs on our public and private lands", Sharman Stone said.

"The Summit will provide a blueprint for managing the issue, and progressing it with Local, State and Federal Government".

Topics covered by the Wild Dog Summit include; the scope and impact of wild dog activity on the environment, their economic and social impact on landholders, the threat to human health and safety posed by infection amongst wild dogs and the protection of pure dingo breeds from extinction.

For further information please contact:
Simon Frost 0419 495 468
Thursday, February 21st, 2002

Commonwealth of Australia