Winning war against feral donkeys in state’s Far West

Judas donkeys have again foiled their friends in the state’s far west, with the NSW Government’s management programs resulting in a sustained decline in the pest’s population numbers, Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall has announced.

The ‘Judas Donkey’ program sees the feral species fitted with GPS tracking collars to lead authorities to larger populations which are then controlled through aerial shoots.

Mr Marshall said the enormous success of the control programs was only possible because of the collaborative work between NSW Government and local landholders.

“These ‘Judas Donkeys’ have unknowingly betrayed their mobs to us through specialised GPS tracking, which means we can more effectively and efficiently manage their numbers and remove a major headache for farmers,” Mr Marshall said.

“This latest shoot saw 21 feral donkeys controlled across eight properties covering 380,728 hectares in the Packsaddle and White Cliffs area.

“Ask any farmer who has experience with feral donkeys and they will tell you what kind of impact they can have on primary production, whether it be through grazing pressure, the destruction of fences or generally threatening the property’s biosecurity.”

Mr Marshall said the numbers from the latest program were down from the 50 pests controlled in December, and much less than the mid-2019 program when 322 feral donkeys were controlled.

“This tells us that we are winning the war against feral donkeys,” Mr Marshall said.

“Our management programs are increasingly effective, there are now just less of these pests for us to control – which is an encouraging win for local landholders.

“What’s even better is another 95 feral pigs were also removed from the region in this same shoot earlier this month.”

Aerial control programs are a vital tool in the control of this priority pest species, carried out on largely inaccessible country that landholders can’t undertake ground control on.

Local landholders involved in the program will continue with ground control, with Local Land Services (LLS) continuing to monitor populations and provide strategic advice.

Landholders wanting assistance to control feral donkeys or other pest animals should contact LLS on 1300 795 299, by clicking here or connect on social media.

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