Farmers aren't doing wild dog baiting program anymore

CONFUSION around the requirements for wild dog baiting has lead to a drop in farmer participation; meaning this season's newborn calves are more vulnerable to attacks than before.

In 2013, 77 landholders agreed to put out poisoned meat on their properties to kill wild dogs. This year that number is down to 44.

It's an improvement on 2014 though, when just 34 landholders put out poisoned meat baits, but farmers fear it won't be enough to keep the dogs under control.

Gladstone Regional Council runs the program in partnership with the State Government. It says confusion around the requirements for farmers is to blame for the drop in numbers.

But farmers say it's the council that's making it difficult.

Former councillor Leo Neill-Ballantine wants the council to "stop sitting on their d*cks" and take a more active role in encouraging more people to bait by making the process easier.

He runs cattle on a 60,000-acre property 'Galloway Plains' in Calliope and has just finished putting out 340 poisoned meat baits.

He's been baiting every six months for as long as he can remember; yet he says he has to fill out a new set of forms for the same property, each time he does it.

"Every time there is baiting you always have to make a trip to town to talk to some muppet and when I say a muppet, it's hard to blame the office girl because she's following council's procedure, but they are doing everything on Google Earth and they always seem to balls it up," Mr Neill-Ballantine said. "Why can't they just send out a form that's already got all the (property) lot plans already on it?

"They need to cut the red tape."

Wild dog baiting with 1080 poison is used in rural communities across Queensland to fight losses from wild dog attacks which cost the grazing industry more than $60million a year.

And with average cattle prices nearing $2.40 per kilogram (the highest they have been during the latest drought period) farmers have much more to lose.

And it is a bother --- filling out eight pages of paperwork, notifying the neighbours, including placing signs around the property, and returning the forms to council two weeks before taking the meat to be injected with poison.

Mr Neill-Ballantine said the whole process ran smoothly until one council employee, who was managing pest control, retired.

"Since then things have gone pear shaped," Mr Neill-Ballantine said.

"It seems as though the council is trying to reinvent the wheel, but a lot of people have been baiting the same country for years and for them it sticks out like dog's balls that it's the council making it harder."

Gladstone Regional Council said it had taken steps since 2013 to ensure farmers better understood their responsibilities in the baiting program which costs the council $5000 a year to run.

There have been no formal complaints about the program and there are no plans to change the way it is carried out on a council level.


Thousands frock up for Ferguson Park's Cox Plate Day: Photos

Ruan Bimrose, Hollie Bimrose, Stephanie Burns and Sarah Meesham at the Ferguson Park races

See who was out for a punt at Ferguson Park for the Cox Plate Day

BREAKING: Car crashes into power pole in Gladstone

A driver has crashed their small Kia into a pole outside Hungry Jacks.

A CAR has crashed into a pole outside Hungry Jacks at Gladstone.

'Big relief': Emergency service boost with $150K fire station

START YOUR ENGINES: First officers Danny Devers, Errol Noye, Jason Polzin, Judy Ferrari, Colleen Yarrow, David Kretschmer, Jeremey Banks and Ron Barker from around the region hold up their keys to eight new Yellow Rural Fire Trucks.

"We've got it now and we won't give it up”

Local Partners

Top floor teams take out The Block's terrace week

Kim and Chris pictured on their winning outdoor terrace in a scene from The Block.

RIVALS Kim and Chris and Julia and Sasha tie in final week of work.

Bob Dylan slammed as 'arrogant' for Nobel silence

Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan.

Singer the controversial winner of literature Nobel

Shannen Doherty reveals fear of dying in post on chemo

Actor Shannen Doherty shared this image of her lying in a hospital bed after a chemotherapy session.

Actor has been fighting cancer since 2015

Eddie Redmayne's stage fright on latest Harry Potter film

Actor Eddie Redmayne stars in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Actor felt like kid again when he got to film with a wand

Salma Hayek: 'Trump planted story because I turned him down'

Actor Salma Hayek is the latest woman who says U.S presidential nominee Donald Trump acted inappropriately.

Salma Hayek latest woman to accuse Trump of misconduct

Brisbane snake catcher shows who's the Boss

Brisbane snake catcher Julia Baker returns in season two of Snake Boss.

Hit show Snake Boss is back for another season

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

Push to sell homes that flooded Gladstone's market

Suburban housing in Glenvale, Toowoomba, Friday, October 17, 2014. Photo Kevin Farmer / The Chronicle

URGENT push to cash-up first home buyers investing in Gladstone.

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.