Oakdale farmer praises successful baiting program

Oakdale grazier John Cooper is pleased his livestock will be safe from wild dogs and foxes in the new year.

The farmer was involved in a baiting program coordinated by Greater Sydney Local Land Services.

The program, which ended in December, was the largest targeted control campaign carried out in Macarthur to date.

Thirty four landowners, mostly from The Oaks, Oakdale and Orangeville, took part in a four-week program which used pest animal control methods and different bait types.

The program saw 282 baits distributed, covering more than 1702 hectares of private land.

The widespread program resulted in dozens of feral animals being killed.

Mr Cooper said he suffered serious stock losses as a result of wild dog attacks before joining the baiting program.

“We used to have sheep on the property prior to running cattle,” he said.

“In the worst attack we lost 30 sheep that were brutally mauled and just left behind.

“It was a horrible experience to go through and made us concerned about the safety of our animals as well as our young grandchildren who regularly visit our property.”

Mr Cooper said he had not seen a fox, dog or lost any stock since joining the program.

Greater Sydney biosecurity officer Annaliese Geddes said the growing support of landholders across Macarthur meant residents and Local Land Services could work together to reduce the impact of wild dogs and foxes.

Mr Cooper encouraged other landowners to sign up to the baiting program if wild dogs and foxes attacked their livestock.

“It’s important that we as landholders are proactive when it comes to managing our land,” he said.

“We can’t do it all ourselves and neither can the authorities.

“I highly recommend doing a baiting program because you learn so much, not just from the experts but form other landholders as well.”

Mr Cooper praised the efforts of the Greater Sydney biosecurity team who were available to help him or answer questions.

Ms Geddes encouraged Macarthur residents to report sightings of dogs without collars, howling and attacks on livestock to Greater Sydney Local Land Services.

“We also urge landholders in the region to get in touch if they need help in managing pest animals,” she said. “The more people involved the better.”