Wild Animal Numbers Rise, Call for Class D Gun Reform | Liberal Daily

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The state’s wet and mild summer conditions may have benefited most growers, but they have caused a dramatic increase in wildlife numbers. The cooler conditions provided the perfect breeding ground for vermin such as pigs and dogs. Nationally, the number of wild pigs is estimated to have soared to 23 million, costing the agricultural sector around $100 million, while feral dogs cost land management agencies around $50 million. The spike in pest numbers has prompted NSW Farmers chairman James Jackson to call on state and federal governments for more support. “Farmers routinely trap over 60 pigs in a single week, it’s just a huge problem right now,” Mr Jackson said. “As we see livestock prices and demand remain strong, these losses will continue to weigh on the back pocket.” READ ALSO: The calls come after the state government concluded its largest-ever pest control program that would have saved the sector $11 million in pest losses. NSW Agriculture Minister Dugald Saunders said the scheme covered around 50 million hectares of land in the past year. “We have partnered with nearly 15,000 landowners across the state to coordinate this program, making it one of, if not the largest, most collaborative pest management programs in the nation,” Mr. Saunders. “Autumn is usually the time when we see pests more active in the landscape, which is why we want to carry out control activities over as large an area as possible. “Our farmers have faced so many challenges over the years – drought, fires, a plague of mice, a global pandemic and of course floods – so the last thing they need is more damage to their businesses from these pests. the Class D firearms regulations, which were introduced in 2020 and significantly restrict licensees from using suitable firearms in pest control. work closely with NSW Police and key stakeholders to explore options to ensure landowners and licensed pest controllers have the necessary weapons to control vertebrate pests like feral pigs Mr. Toole told The Land. “As part of this, I am looking for ways to create a permanent and practical solution for the approximately 500 Class D license holders who have been impacted by the 2020 NCAT decision.”