Hon Alannah MacTiernan MLC

Hon Alannah MacTiernan MLC

Minister for Regional Development; Agriculture and Food; Ports; Minister Assisting the Minister for State Development, Jobs and Trade

    Feral pigs target of State NRM grants

    6/11/2019 11:45 AM
     
    • Almost $300,000 in State NRM grants to control feral pig problem
    • WA Feral Pig Strategy released to guide effective management of feral pigs in WA
    • State Government examining strengthened compliance for feral pig seeding

    The McGowan Government is stepping up action on feral pigs in Western Australia, today announcing almost $300,000 for community-led projects to tackle feral pigs and releasing its Feral Pig Strategy.

     

    Feral pigs destroy habitats for native plants and animals, are an agricultural pest, damaging crops and pastures, and a biosecurity risk contributing to the spread of disease. If African Swine Fever was found in Australia and entered the feral pig population, control of the disease would be almost impossible.

     

    Four regional projects to reduce the feral pig population and impacts on the environment and agriculture, have been successful in this year's round of Natural Resource Management (NRM) Community Stewardship grants.

     

    The State Government has funded biosecurity and NRM groups in the Mid-West, Wheatbelt and South-West to undertake increased monitoring, trapping and shooting of feral pigs.

     

    The McGowan Government has today released the WA Feral Pig Strategy 2020-25, which will provide guidance to stakeholders on a strategic approach to the management of feral pigs in WA.

     

    The Strategy highlights the need for a co-ordinated approach using a suite of complimentary and humane control techniques to effectively manage feral pigs throughout WA, and recognises the importance of ongoing research and development of new technologies for pig control.

     

    The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) will establish a WA Feral Pig Advisory Group with local stakeholder groups to oversee implementation of the strategy.

     

    DPIRD will also examine strengthened compliance measures to deal with the issue of feral pig seeding - where pig hunters intentionally release feral pigs for hunting.

     

    The WA Feral Pig Strategy is available at https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/feral-pig-strategy

     

    Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:

     

    "Feral pigs are highly destructive to our natural environment, as well as being highly mobile and capable of spreading devastating livestock diseases like African Swine Fever, should it reach Australia.

     

    "Community-based groups around WA play a vital role in helping coordinate the control of invasive species at a regional level.

     

    "With the backing of State Government funding, these four groups will work with landholders to reduce feral pig populations across the northern agricultural, central Wheatbelt, Blackwood and Peel-Harvey regions.

     

    "We also want to crack down on feral pig seeding - which is a major contributor to the spread of feral pigs in the regions, and sets back the fantastic work of biosecurity and environmental groups in eradicating pigs.

     

    "DPIRD will examine how to strengthen its compliance and prosecute those responsible for this reckless and unlawful behaviour."

     

    Minister's office - 6552 6200

     

    The successful grant recipients are:

    • Northern Biosecurity Group, Northampton, $201,710 - to improve involvement of Mid‑West landholders in feral pig management and introduce a trapping camera monitoring network and up to 20 GPS tracking collars to monitor pig distribution, seasonal variability and effectiveness of control efforts;
    • Lake Muir Denbarker Community Feral Pig Eradication Group, Northcliffe, Lake Muir and Denbarker, $34,000 - to support ongoing control work to protect agricultural enterprises and reduce the impact of feral pigs on the natural environment.
    • Lower Blackwood Vertebrate Pest Management Group, Lower Blackwood - $33,650 - to help reduce local populations, with field officers to work across the area, trapping and shooting. Population monitoring, mapping, and data collection will allow for further strategic management.
    • Wagin Woodanilling Landcare Zone - $27,372 - to help landholders develop the skills to target pig populations effectively and identify where the pigs are, monitor populations and assist landowners with management strategies.