The McGowan Government has committed an additional $250,000 to support the State’s pastoralists to address feral animal management in a dry season.
Dry Season Response Grants of up to $50,000 will be available to the five pastoral Recognised Biosecurity Groups (RBGs) for the management and control of large feral herbivores, such as camels.
The grants are in addition to the existing funding the State Government provides to the RGBs to manage priority declared pests in the regions, which include large feral herbivores.
Feral camels are a widespread established pest in Western Australia, and are a declared species meaning landholders are required to control them on their properties.
In high numbers, camels can damage fences and watering points, and compete with cattle for feed, which can cause animal welfare issues, particularly due to feed shortages in dry seasons.
The national economic impact of not controlling camels is estimated at up to $11.5 million annually, but there are also significant environmental and social impacts as well.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development will be working directly with each of the groups to administer the grants.
The RBGs represent pastoralists across the Kimberley, Pilbara, Carnarvon, Meekatharra and Goldfields regions.
As stated by Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“Dry seasonal conditions in the pastoral regions are presenting ongoing challenges and feedback we are hearing from pastoralists is that camels are moving into pastoral areas in search of food and water.
“Boosting funding to the RBGs will help pastoralists to quickly address impacts of feral camels and put in place strategies for future management.
“The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is continuing to work closely with pastoralists on a number of dry season issues, and provide support and early intervention options when required.”