Farmers herald new feral pest predator

National Farmers’ Federation Chief Executive Officer Tony Mahar has welcomed the announcement of a feral cat and fox coordinator.

“This is an important next step in addressing feral animal control which is a principal threat to Australia’s threatened species and the landscape. We congratulate Environment Minister, Sussan Ley on the announcement.”

The NFF has long argued for a landscape approach to feral animal control that is not specific to the feral animal species or land ownership (tenure).

“We anticipate the coordinator will be well placed to facilitate landscape scale interventions to manage these pests. It is an important recognition of the ways in which these two species interact in the landscape that they are recognised as needing complementary management.

“The next worst outcome to what we have now is to drastically reduce the presence of one species only to see the explosion of the other.

“There will be more work to do to align these responses with wild dog and feral pig management programs and we look forward to seeing that interaction evolve.”

Mr Mahar said for farmers this was where the rubber hit the road, turning strategy into outcomes, using coordinated approaches and introducing most recent scientific control methods to get the most efficient outcomes was welcomed progress.

“Biodiversity in Australia is variously under threat, it is no longer about habitat destruction or land clearing, it’s absolutely about managing predation.

“It’s estimated that feral cats kill more than one million birds, one million reptiles and one million mammals in Australia every day and cannot be allowed to continue.

“Ferals pests are not only a threat to biodiversity, they also threaten livestock both through predation and as a vector for serious diseases such as soxoplasmosis and sarcocystis.”

Mr Mahar said the NFF would continue to work with the Minister and her department to address these and other issues such as noxious weeds.

“A key outcome of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act review was to also encourage better landscape management including by creating markets for biodiversity enhancement.

“We acknowledge the Government’s current work in developing a biodiversity trading platform which will complement these outcomes.”

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