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Wild dog control a vexed issue for council

WILD dog trappers and local landholders have had a mixed response to changes by the Southern Downs Regional Council rules governing wild dog bounty claims.

In a bid to prevent people from outside the region claiming bounties for wild dogs shot in the Southern Downs area, the council decided to only accept whole dogs, as opposed to scalps, in a rule effective from October 1.

SDRC Deputy Mayor Ross Bartley said the change was critical. Before the new rule he said there had been people travelling from areas where the bounty did not exist, or was lower than offered by SDRC.

Under the new rule, dog trappers or landholders will have to take deceased dogs to a council signatory for approval to claim the $100 bounty.

Karara wool grower Ian Cullen, who has trapped more than 17 dogs this year, said the rule change made sense.

Speaking to the Bush Tele at the finish of this year's shearing, Mr Cullen said he lost 260 wethers to wild dogs in the past 12 months.

"We need to ensure the bounty remains in place because shooting or trapping wild dogs is critical," he said.

"Personally, I would like to see the bounty go up to $200 because there needs to be an incentive to get involved in controlling wild dogs."

Around Karara he said, landholders had always taken whole dogs to an authorised council signatory in order to claim bounties.

"Neighbouring councils like Toowoomba have reduced their bounty to $50, so we need to do what we can to make sure our council is paying for wild dogs caught in our region," Mr Cullen said.

But one local trapper, who withheld his name, said while he had initially considered the idea sound, he was worried it was impractical.

"At first I thought it wasn't a bad idea until I thought about those dogs a long way from the ute," he said.

"When you track a dog and shoot it a few km from the car, that makes it a long haul out with a 15-25kg dog.

"And what happens if nobody is around on a hot summer weekend. That dog is going to pong by the time you get it in Monday after work."

A SDRC spokesman said there would be authorised inspectors available, even on weekends.

For a full list and location of SDRC approved wild dog inspectors go to http://www.sdrc.qld.gov.au.

Topics:  biosecurity feral animals wild dogs