Pig plan gets more grunt

Jacinta CantatoreHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Feral pigs in the Peel-Harvey region have been put on notice thanks to a new strategy developed with help from local biosecurity groups.
Camera IconFeral pigs in the Peel-Harvey region have been put on notice thanks to a new strategy developed with help from local biosecurity groups. Credit: Supplied

Feral pigs in the Peel-Harvey region have been put on notice thanks to a new strategy developed with help from local biosecurity groups.

The State Government last week announced the WA Feral Pig Strategy 2020-2025, aimed at tackling the invasive species.

The strategy is timely, with biosecurity control measures being stepped up on Australian borders while biosecurity groups are on high alert following outbreaks of African swine flu overseas.

Announcing the strategy, Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan said biosecurity groups played a vital role in tackling invasive species, highlighting the Peel-Harvey region as one of four key areas.

“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,” Ms MacTiernan said.

Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group chief executive officer Jonelle Cleland said the group had formed part of the steering committee in developing the new strategy, which would allow coordinated efforts across multiple groups.

“The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development will lead the implementation of the strategy in conjunction with a WA feral pig advisory group to assist community groups to work cohesively and in a more coordinated manner across the State,” Ms Cleland said.

“The department is also working directly with the Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group through its feral animal subcommittee to assist in facilitating a coordinated and collaborative approach by landholders in the group as well as neighbouring areas to continue to improve feral pig management.”

Although the the group worked to develop the strategy, it did not receive funding from the State Government’s Natural Resource Management grants, which totalled almost $300,000.

This shortfall is not expected to impact the group’s implementation of the new strategy.

“The group is fortunate that its funding is not dependent on the natural resource management grants community grant funding cycle,” Ms Cleland said.

“The declared pest rate provides a sustainable funding model which allows community groups to put long term plans in place.

“Essentially, we need to get pests such as feral pigs onto the day-to-day agenda of everyone living and doing business in our patch. This means that our efforts must go beyond short term projects.”

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