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Predator workshop supported

Sentine: A file photo of a maremma dog guarding a flock of goats. The breed originated in central Italy centuries ago as a livestock guardian dog used by Italian shepherds.
Sentine: A file photo of a maremma dog guarding a flock of goats. The breed originated in central Italy centuries ago as a livestock guardian dog used by Italian shepherds.

A PREDATOR control workshop held at Inglewood in November was so well supported organisers are calling for landholders to express their interest in a follow-up session in 2014.

The workshop, a joint initiative of AgForce and Leading Sheep, urged landholders to ask what they could do to fix their wild dog and feral pig issues.

One of the most topical points raised was that wild dogs cost the cattle industry in Queensland more each year than the sheep industry.

Other points of interest raised included the fact that the only pure dingoes in the surveyed area of Queensland are in the far south west.

Fraser Island dogs are not pure.

And the latest scientific studies show wild dog 1080 baiting does not kill quolls.

Guest speakers during the day included Karara's Bruce McLeish and Karen Huskisson, from The Gums.

Mr McLeish talked about his experiences with guard donkeys, while Mrs Huskisson explained the benefits of using Maremma dogs.

Both said guard animals were only part of the solution but that both donkeys and Maremmas were achieving good results on their respective properties.

They also stressed that the success of using guardian animals hinged on developing critical "good" bonds between the guardians and the herd they are protecting.

Following the success of the Inglewood workshop, Damien Ferguson, from AgForce Projects, is about to start planning for 2014.

If you see a need for a similar day in your area, contact Mr Ferguson on (07) 3236 3100 or 0402 424 424 or email fergusond@agforceprojects.org.au.

Topics:  biosecurity feral animal control wild dogs