The Weekly Times reports that the Victorian government will give a major boost to aerial baiting in the state budget due later this month. It is not clear which areas will be focused on, but the Alpine National Park can be expected to be a key location given dog numbers, and statements by the minister that there will be baits laid in ‘hard to reach’ areas. In another land management development, the government has also announced it will work with the Australian Deer Association to cull deer.

Kath Sullivan writes:

On aerial baiting:

AERIAL baiting for wild dogs in Victoria will double after the State Government committed to campaigns in autumn and spring.

In a pre-Budget announcement in Bairnsdale today, Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford will commit the baiting as part of $6.2 million to manage wild dogs and foxes.

Ms Pulford confirmed the Budget would allow for aircraft to drop 1080 poison baits over hard-to-reach areas twice a year. “We are putting farmers first, and responding to their requests to allow the aerial baiting of wild dogs twice a year.”

The minister said wild dogs cost Victoria up to $18 million a year and 5000 baits are expected to be dropped.

The increased investment was the recommendation of a recent review of wild dog management.

On deer hunting:

To complete a trio of pre-Budget announcements, Ms Pulford will also today commit $5.3 million to support game hunting through a sustainable hunting action plan.

It will include working with the Australian Deer Association to cull invasive deer species on public and private land.

The Government did not say how many deer it would cull, or where it would occur. ­Details are expected in the ­action plan to be released this year.