Sunshine Coast Council today (June 14) endorsed the continuation of its program to prevent and control the presence of declared feral animals in the region.
The Prevention and Control Program for feral animals under the Biosecurity Act 2014 is designed to target specific declared feral animal species throughout the Sunshine Coast Council area.
The program targets wild dogs, feral pigs, feral goats, feral cats, feral deer, European foxes, European rabbits and Indian Myna birds.
Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said feral animals could have a significant impact on our environment.
“Council receives almost 700 requests for assistance with feral animal control each year,” Cr McKay said.
“Continuing this important program will allow us to build on the successful work that has been done over the past three years.
“It’s vital that we understand the extent and magnitude of these feral animals in the region and monitor where they are so that we can implement activities to minimise their impact on our environment and the community.”
Feral animal impacts include damage to agricultural and horticultural crops, irrigation and fences, competition with livestock for pasture and supplementary feed, attacks on livestock, domestic pets and native animals, damage to trees and native regeneration, the dispersal of weed seeds and erosion.
Feral animals can also pose a risk to livestock industries and human health by aiding in the spread of disease.
Council’s Team Leader Animal Education and Control Anthony Cathcart said continuing the program was vital in council’s efforts to bring about effective feral animal control across the region.
“The data and research collected through this program allows us to make decisions based on real results and outcomes that are monitored,” Mr Cathcart said.
“We are able to identify the presence or absence of feral animals and provide education and assistance to residents to minimise the impacts on their property, pets, livestock and agricultural crops.
“The program also allows council to implement control programs to reduce the presence and destructive impact of these pest animals in our region.
“Many of these programs are not possible without the strong partnerships and support from our community and this should not be forgotten.”
Under the Biosecurity Act 2014, council, and any resident, has a General Biosecurity Obligation to manage declared pest plants and animals on land under their control.
The program will operate from July 1, 2018 until June 30, 2019.
For more information visit the feral animal section of council’s website.