DIFFERENT WORK: Michael Azzopardi howling for dogs in the Lowmead/Miriam Vale area.
DIFFERENT WORK: Michael Azzopardi howling for dogs in the Lowmead/Miriam Vale area. contributed

Trapper hears stories of wild dogs 'bailing' people up

THOUSANDS of dollars in cattle could be at risk from wild dogs in the region.

Queensland Pests and Feral Animal Management director Michael Azzopardi said it was a big issue throughout central Queensland and one that needed action.

"I'm actually from the Gold Coast but I travel for dog work and I've been up there and know that it is a problem," he said.

Mr Azzopardi said although baiting was a good tactic, some older dogs were smart enough to avoid baits.

"You really need an approach that's a combination of baiting, trapping and shooting," he said.

"It needs to be ongoing, there's so many out there, you just can't get on top of them unless you have something regularly done."

In March this year, Gladstone Regional Council ran a 1080 baiting trial in the Miriam Vale region, to help with wild dogs and feral pigs.

Mr Azzopardi said the wild dogs in Australia were usually a hybrid between a dingo and a domestic dog.

He said they took young calves which were worth a lot of money to graziers.

"There's people that get bailed up by them as well, they might be going for a jog or on a quad with their dogs, so I've heard plenty of stories about it," Mr Azzopardi said.

However, Stacey McNab, who owns a property near Bororen said thankfully they had no issues with wild dogs there.

"We have our own dogs here though which might help," she said.

Calliope Station owner Will Wilson said wild dogs were always a problem.

"We're always trying to bait for them," he said.

"The baiting is the best control mechanism we have for them."

Mr Wilson said getting all property owners on the same page was the most important thing.

"If you have one neighbour that does not control them it becomes a bit of a nest for them (wild dogs)," he said.

"If you keep on top of them it helps everyone."

Mr Wilson said his property was pretty well protected as his neighbour, Leo Neill-Ballantine, did a lot of baiting work.

Mr Azzopardi said some people were reluctant to spend money on the problem.

"They might have the three hunters go in, and it all helps, but sometimes if you get an inexperienced person and they're taking a shot at a dog and they miss, well that dog is now educated," he said.

"So the second they see a white truck or something that resembles that experience from last time, they're clued on, so they need some professionals in."

Mr Azzopardi said being a wild dog trapper was an interesting job.

"It's fun to get away, you're obviously sort of roughing it a bit, you might be in a swag for about two weeks, out on a property with no power," he said.

"It is good though, a couple of weeks ago I was down in New South Wales near Casino ... so it is good to go out and get the result for people and see their satisfaction after you do it."

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