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Crackdown on illegal pig hunting in National Parks

20 September 2016

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) is warning unauthorised pig hunters to steer clear of National Parks.

“Unfortunately there seems to have been an increase in dog-based feral pig hunting in the Misty Mountains section of Wooroonooran, Japoon and Tully Gorge National Parks,” Senior Ranger Cameron Sharpe said.

“It is illegal to take a domestic animal into a National Park without written approval, with fines of up to $2,438 under the Nature Conservation Act 1992.

“Innisfail QPWS staff issued several infringement notices in recent months and will continue to increase patrols in the Innisfail region, targeting anyone taking a domestic animal into a National Park.

“The increase of unauthorised hunting may be attributed to biosecurity and quarantine measures on local farms, due to the outbreak of Panama Disease Tropical Race 4 (TR4).

“Most farmers have fenced off their properties to stop the spread of the disease. As the hunters have been restricted from these areas, they are increasingly coming on to National Parks.”

QPWS is working closely with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Biosecurity Queensland Panama TR4 Program, on the issue of feral pig control, with the launch of a new guide to assist with trapping feral pigs on the Cassowary Coast.

“Unauthorised pig hunting is undermining official control efforts. QPWS Innisfail carries out its own feral pig control program, utilising baiting and trapping methods,” Senior Ranger Cameron Sharpe said.

“Hunting with dogs disturbs this program and reduces its effectiveness. It only takes one dog to disturb a control site and undo weeks of work.

“A dog’s presence and scent is enough to scare native animals into fleeing their local habitat. They can also inadvertently kill native species.”

QPWS Innisfail has a free ‘cassowary-friendly’ pig trap loan scheme available to National Park neighbours. Please call 07 4048 3718 if you would like to know more.

If media or the public would like to attend, the launch of ‘Trapping feral pigs on the Cassowary Coast: A practical guide’ will be held at 10am on Wednesday 21 September at the Panama TR4 Program Office at 2-20 Moresby Road, Moresby.

Last updated
20 September 2016