Feral pig baiting bonanza at Bundella

The establishment of a pest management group around the Premer/Tambar Springs area has resulted in the confirmed control of at least 400 feral pigs.

Central West Local Land Services Biosecurity Officer Will Thorncraft identified a gap in group activity for the region and spoke to locals to see if there was interest in forming a group for pest animal management.

Landholder Andrew Campbell from “Rockgedgiel”, Bundella said his father Colin attended a meeting arranged by Mr Thorncraft and together they decided to try baiting for feral pig control around their sorghum crop.

“Our farming country is surrounded by grazing country, so pigs have access to stock water, dams and the creek as well as the crops.”

Mr Campbell estimated just in this year alone feral pig damage has cost them at least $16,000 from crop damage.

“The pigs have completely decimated 10 hectares of the sorghum crop so when you look at a six-tonne crop with sorghum valued at $270 a tonne it adds up pretty quickly.”

The Campbell’s have previously had shooters and hunters on the property but said that method had limited success.

“Once the pigs are in the crop you can’t see them, the dogs can’t get to them.

“Dad went to Will’s meeting. He saw that baiting was an achievable goal and an economical way to control the problem.”

Mr Thorncraft worked with Mr Campbell to provide a monitoring camera to capture and understand the extent of the problem.

“Seeing how many pigs were actually coming out of the crop and feeding was very surprising,” Mr Campbell said.

“It was quite satisfying watching them eating all the poisoned grain.”

Mr Campbell said the advice provided by Mr Thorncraft also helped to successfully bait some 150 pigs on the property to date.

“Will has been very helpful. He was able to give me some good information on how far apart to have the grain and how to get the pigs feeding in one area.”

The current grain treatment subsidisation from Central West Local Land Services has also been important to the successful results, Mr Campbell said.

The rest of the pest animal management group including landholders and National Parks have controlled at least 250 through baiting, trapping, aerial and ground shooting, Mr Thorncraft said.

“Given the group borders two regions we have worked with North West Local Land Services to treat grain and provide advice to the group.

“It has been great to see this group actively working together to reduce feral pigs in the area.”

Anyone interested in forming a pest animal management group in their region should contact Local Land Services on 1300 795 299.

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