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Stopping wild dogs, foxes in their tracks team effort

For the past four years, Peter and Deb Byrne have taken part in the Macarthur wild dog and fox control campaign to protect their pets, livestock and property at The Oaks.

Coordinated twice a year by Greater Sydney Local Land Services, the program has grown in size to include about 40 major landholders across Orangeville, Oakdale, Razorback, Cawdor, Cobbitty, Werombi, Picton, The Oaks and other parts of the outer South West Sydney region.

Despite never having experienced stock losses at the hands of either wild dogs or foxes, the Byrne family know how important it is to adopt a coordinated, landscape approach for the benefit of themselves and their neighbours.

“One of our neighbours, Eric Rudd, has suffered horrific stock losses at the hands of wild dogs and other people in the area have too,’’ says Peter Byrne.

Deb Byrne with some of her goats at the family’s property at The Oaks.

“By signing up to lay baits as part of the program, we’ve now covered off on our entire section of Silverdale Road, which is significant,” he said.

“It’s important we get behind our neighbours in our community and work with authorities like Local Land Services to try and get on top of these predators.”

Mr Byrne said the use of motion detector cameras on his property was also critical to keeping on top of the problem.

“Every time I check my cameras I see traffic from wombats, kangaroos but also foxes,” he said.

“This helps because you get a clear indication of their movements and habits.”

Lamb are vulnerable to attacks by wild dogs and foxes.

Greater Sydney senior biosecurity officer Annaliese Geddes praised the efforts of Peter and Deb and their ongoing commitment to the program.

“Biosecurity is everyone’s responsibility,” she said.

“The reality is, even if you are not directly impacted by wild dog and fox attacks, it is impacting on you in one way or another either by affecting the economy and environment in your local community, or spreading diseases and attacking your domestic pets.”

Mr Byrne said the support of Local Land Services was critical.

“It amazes me how good Local Land Services is, it’s a really good service with officers who genuinely want to help,” he said.

The Macarthur baiting campaign is currently under way and will run across the region until October 25.

Domestic pet owners are reminded to ensure all animals are restrained during this time.

For further information or to get involved in a future campaign, contact Greater Sydney Local Land Services on 4724 2100.

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