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Locals learn tricks of the trade

Tips on how to conceal traps.
Tips on how to conceal traps.

LANDHOLDERS experienced a steep learning curve at a three-day workshop in Springsure about wild dogs and how to control them.

Doug Muirhead from Rainwell said he learnt a lot from the workshop, particularly about dogs’ behaviours.

“I found it all very interesting and as I haven’t done any trapping before - it is all pretty new to me,” he said.

Increased sightings and other evidence of wild dog activity around Springsure prompted the Central Highlands Regional Resources Use Planning Co-operative in partnership with the Central Highlands Regional Council and AgForce, to organise the free, three-day workshop.

The workshop was run by professional dog trapper and howler Tony Townsend, who has more than 20 years experience in wild dog control.

CHRRUP executive officer Megan Daniels said improved knowledge and trapping skills among those who attended would have a positive environmental and economic impact on the region.

“Learning from an expert like Tony Townsend will enable landholders to undertake effective management which will boost collective efforts to control the wild dog population in our region,” Ms Daniels said.

Mr Townsend said the aim of his presentation was to equip landholders with the skills necessary for effective trapping.

“As I travel around Queensland I try to give that information back to the landowners about how to get rid of dogs and how to control them in the long term. A lot of this information has been lost over the generations,” Mr Townsend said.

His approach was well received by attendees at the Springsure event.

“It has been very interesting. We have quite a few dogs on our property, I don’t see many but I can hear them, there are tracks everywhere and we lose calves or they come in chewed up pretty regularly,” Doug Muirhead said.

“After going to the workshop I do feel confident to give the things I have learnt a try, especially after setting the traps ourselves, that sort of practical information will be very useful to me when I get home.”

This confidence gained by attendees is an important aspect of Mr Townsend’s work as effective trapping meant less work down the track.

“By coming and running through this information I can try and teach people to do it properly the first time without making mistakes. This means that they can go out and spend more time trapping dogs rather than, potentially, scaring them off,” he said.

“Once a dog associates the scent of humans negatively then your job becomes a lot harder, the animal will be a lot more cunning and difficult to trap.”

CHRRUP, CHRC and AgForce received excellent feedback from the event and if there is interest from the community, will look to host workshops in the future.

To register your interest in attending a wild dog management workshop or for more information, contact Sally at CHRRUP on 4982 2996 or at admin@chrrup.org.


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