Declared Pest Animals
Pest animals pose a major economic, environmental and social threat to our region. The main animals of concern are dingo/feral dogs, feral pigs, foxes, rabbits, deer and feral cats all are declared pests under State Legislation. Under the Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002, the responsibiity for control of feral animals rests with the landholder.
Council, however can offer assistance to any landholders experiencing problems with feral animals through the provision of biannual, co-ordinated baiting programmes, trap hire and providing advice on the most effective control options available to landholders.
Council has strategies for the control of pest animals in the Burdekin Shire. Please see the Council’s Pest Management Plan 2010-2013 for more information on the management strategies for declared pest animals in the Burdekin.
Dingoes/ Wild dogs
Wild dogs are all dogs that are not domesticated including dingoes, feral dogs and hybrids/crosses between the two.
Dingoes are native Australian dogs believed to have migrated from South-East Asia about 5000 years ago and have had a lasting natural impact on Australian native animals. Dingoes are not easily distinguished from domestic dogs. They can be identified only by detailed skull measurements and relative tooth size, and by their genetic make up. They:
- Are usually ginger and yellow with white feet and chest
- May be pure white, ginger, black and tan, or pure black
- Breed only once a year, in early winter
Feral dogs are abandoned or strayed domestic dogs living in a wild state in the bush or in an urban environment.
Dingoes and wild dogs are declared pests under the Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002. Therefore it is illegal to introduce, keep or sell them and their numbers should be reduced. Legally, the primary responsibility for wild dog control lies with landholders, however, in built up areas, local government may help coordinate programs.
Numbers of wild dogs may have increased due to the increased availability of water on farms, the consequent increase in potential prey such as native animal species, livestock and rabbits and the increased availability of food associated with human settlement.
- In rural areas, they can reduce the viability of sheep, goat and cattle farming.
- They can be a hazard to livestock, poultry, pets and humans in boundary areas between urban and rural environments.
- They can carry both canine and human animal diseases, including distemper, neospora, canine parvovirus and hydatid worms.
For further information on dingoes and wild dogs, visit the Biosecurity Queensland website.
Feral pigs are a declared class 2 pest animal under the Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002 and a high priority for control under Council’s Pest Management Plan 2010-2013. Therefore it is illegal to introduce, keep or sell them and their numbers should be reduced. Strategic actions in the Pest Management Plan to contain feral pigs include trapping and baiting.
For further information on feral pigs, visit the Biosecurity Queensland website.
Locally Chital deer occur on Rita Island and at Mt Elliot near Giru. The deer at Rita Island impact on cane crops in the early growth stages and cause friction between farmers and graziers as they sometimes harbour in the grazing areas during the day. These animals cause major damage to environmental areas and in particular native trees as they habitually rub their hard, sharp antlers on the bark and trunks of saplings and trees. Because of the attractiveness of these animals there are also mixed feelings in the community regarding control options.
Chital deer are a Class 2 pest animal under the Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002. Council has identified chital deer as a high priority in Council’s Pest Management Plan 2010-2013 and is currently developing a strategy to address this pest animal.
European rabbits are a declared class 2 pest animal under the Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002 and a medium priority for control under Council’s Pest Management Plan 2010-2013. Therefore it is illegal to introduce, keep or sell them and their numbers should be reduced. Rabbits are not permitted to be kept by residents in Queensland. Certain organisations are permitted to keep rabbits, but this is regulated by Biosecurity Queensland.
For further information on rabbits, visit the Biosecurity Queensland website.
Foxes are wide spread throughout our region and can cause losses to poultry and small domestic animals. They also pose a major threat to nesting sea turtles in coastal areas. Control of foxes can be achieved by shooting, trapping, exclusion fencing, fumigation or poisoning.
There are a number of species of fish in Burdekin’s waterways that compete with native fish for resources and threaten the natural ecosystem of our rivers.
One of the worst offenders is tilapia and it has been declared noxious in Queensland.
For further information on pest fish species, visit the Biosecurity Queensland website.