Free workshops to increase awareness of feral pig impacts

Western Downs Regional Council

Feral Pig.jpg

Western Downs Regional Council is continuing its fight against invasive pests across the region, offering free educational community workshops to landholders in and around the Bunya Mountains area to increase awareness around the threat of feral pigs and bunya die back.

On Monday 18 December, two free community workshops will be held in Bell and the Bunya Mountains; two areas of the Western Downs that are highly impacted by feral pigs. The workshops are intended to provide locals with information around what protective actions Council is taking against these pests, and what landholders can do to help.

Councillor Andrew Smith, spokesperson for Planning, Environment and Agribusiness said these workshops were an important part of Council’s pest management program which aimed to protect our region’s natural assets, environment, and heritage.

“Following consecutive seasons of La Niña over recent years, Council has recorded a significant increase in the feral pig population across the region, particularly in the Bunya Mountains and surrounding areas,” Cr Smith said.

“This increase is alarming because the pigs’ foraging behaviours directly impact our natural landscapes, including spreading diseases and pathogens such as phytophthora multivora which causes die back in Bunya Pines, which are endemic to the beautiful and culturally significant Bunya Mountains.

“The aim of the workshops is to inform landholders in the impacted areas of the threats that both feral pigs and phytophthora pose to the environment and agriculture, and to explain the latest research being undertaken on how to best manage both these biosecurity threats.

“There will be a number of topics discussed at the workshop, such as plant pathology and disease, how we’re utilising AI in feral pig management, emergency animal disease prevention, and feral pig behaviour and ecology.

“It will also provide an opportunity to showcase the Queensland Feral Pest Initiative (QFPI) Round 7 Grant that Council has been awarded, what will be delivered through the subsequent research project, and how landholders or the community members can get involved in the fight against these pests.”

Industry experts from leading agencies will speak at the workshops, including Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Biosecurity Queensland, Southern Queensland Landscapes, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, and Western Downs Regional Council’s Rural Services Team.

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