THE NSW Government has feral pig populations in the crosshairs and is encouraging Hunter Valley landholders to implement best-practice biosecurity measures on their properties in a bid to curb the threat of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD).
More than 19,500 feral pigs have been culled in seven months through targeted aerial shooting operations run by the NSW Government.
Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders said controlling feral pigs is more critical than ever before with the current threat of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) our doorstep.
"There is a definite concern that if FMD was to enter our country, it could be spread through feral pig populations across NSW," Mr Saunders said.
"Protecting ourselves from biosecurity threats is a shared responsibility, and pest animal management is something every rural landholder can do to play their part."
Any signs of FMD or LSD seen in livestock must be reported to the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888 or their Local Land Services district veterinarian.
"Each year, Local Land Services coordinates hundreds of group control programs using a variety of tools including aerial shooting, coordinated baiting and trapping.
"Last year, these coordinated pest animal control activities were carried out on more than 40 million hectares of land across NSW," Mr Suanders said.
"The more landholders who are actively participating in these group control programs, the more effective they are at reducing pest animal populations."
Feral pigs, and other pest animals such as deer and wild dogs, can also cause significant damage to crops, pasture and farm infrastructure, and are also known to attack native species.
Pest animal populations have been increasing across NSW following extended favourable wet conditions.
"There has never been a more important time for landholders to be implementing best-practice biosecurity measures on their properties, so I'm encouraging them to reach out to Local Land Services for support," Mr Saunders said.
Landholders looking for advice on pest animal control or wanting to take part in group control programs can contact their closest Local Land Services office by calling 1300 795 299.
Landholders wanting to find out more about FMD or lumpy skin disease (LSD), or attend an upcoming workshop are encouraged to visit www.lls.nsw.gov.au/ead
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