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June 22, 2010

The Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has supported a motion at The Nationals Federal Conference, urging Australia-wide action to speed up the eradication of wild dogs and other feral animals.

The motion, which was unanimously passed by conference delegates, comes after Mr Chester last month called for a national approach to tackle rising wild dog numbers across the country during a speech in Federal Parliament.

“The economic cost to Australia of wild dogs and other feral animals should not be under estimated,” Mr Chester said.

“Only last week we heard that in East Gippsland over 3000 head of stock have been lost to wild dogs since 2005.

“These are the figures of Victoria’s Department of Primary Industry, but we don’t know the complete figure in the mountain region.

“We know that the Eden-Monaro farmers are also experiencing massive stock losses across the border, so the Victorian figures don’t tell the true extent of the problem.

“The dogs don’t recognised state borders and we need more action across the nation to control and eradicate a range of feral species.”

Mr Chester and The Nationals Candidate for Gippsland East Tim Bull are both supporting the Victorian Coalition’s plan to introduce bounties on foxes and wild dogs if they win government in November.

“The Nationals are putting forward a positive plan of bounties to help control foxes and wild dogs,” Mr Bull said.

“In addition to existing control measures, the fox and wild dog bounties would encourage more registered shooters to target these animals and do our community a service at the same time.

“Farmers and the natural environment would benefit from our practical and direct action.”

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