Aerial baiting for wild dogs to commence early October

While the ground baiting component of our spring wild dog baiting program is underway, the aerial phase is set to commence in a couple of weeks.

The dates that aerial baiting will be carried out are from Tuesday, 2 October to Tuesday, 16 October 2018. 1080 poison baits will be used with the rate of application being 10 baits per kilometre. 

The area covered by the program is from Hungerford in the north-east, Broken Hill in the west and to Mt Hope in the south-east.

To find out more about our baiting program contact Biosecurity Team Leader, Tim Wall on 0428 915 070. 

Baits for the control of wild dogs are loaded into the plane at the Wanaaring air strip during the autumn wild dog baiting program earlier this year. 

Insect predators winning the cactus battle near Tibooburra

Nearly two years after a new biotype of cochineal insect (Dactylopius tomentosus, cholla biotype) was released to control boxing glove cactus (Cylindropuntia fulgida var. mamillata), positive results are being recorded.

In October 2016, the new cochineal biotype was released at a site near Tibooburra onto approximately 30 individual plants within the core infestation of boxing glove cactus. 

A site inspection six months later showed positive signs that a population of cochineal had begun to establish, with individual plants displaying evidence of infestation. 

By May this year, all plants within the core infestation area were exhibiting a very high level of infestation, most being completely dead or in a significantly weakened state. The cochineal had also spread up to 400 metres from the release site onto more sparsely distributed cactus plants. 

The site near Tibooburra is now being used as a source population to further spread cochineal to other boxing glove cactus infestations around the region. 

For more information about biological control of cactus, contact Senior Land Services Officers,
Mitch Plumbe (Broken Hill) on 0408 241 200 or Brian Dohnt (Cobar) on 0455 901 258. 

Left, October 2016, right May 2018. The identification and release of the new cochineal biotype is the result of many years of research by the NSW Department of Primary Industries and the QLD Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. The release is part of a broader national collaboration project led by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) and supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, as part of its Rural R&D for Profit program to implement biological control of six high-priority weeds.

Kangaroo management update

Last month, the NSW Government cut red tape and provided farmers with more flexibility to help manage the damage caused by kangaroos during the drought. 

What has NOT changed is the requirement that all kangaroo management must comply with the
 National Code of Practice for the humane treatment of kangaroos.

In addition to the national code, the NSW Government has released a
 Best Practice Guide reminding landholders and shooters of what is required. Maintaining stringent animal welfare and humaneness standards is crucial for maintaining community support of  management approaches.

Part of the announced changes was that a register would be established by Local Land Services to connect licensed commercial harvesters, as well as professional and experienced volunteer shooters with landholders. 

Since the announcement, it's been great to see so many licensed commercial harvesters, as well as professional and experienced volunteer shooters register to assist landholders to manage kangaroos. 

Landholders looking to obtain contacts of a shooter in their region can register their interest here. Once registered, a link will be emailed to you with details of registered shooters in your region. The link is automatically updated as new shooters are added. 

More information on the register and other changes are available on our website.  

The changes to kangaroo management came into effect on 8 August 2018. 

Call for cattle producers north of Bourke to take part in monitoring program

Our District Veterinarian, Charlotte Cavanagh is on the lookout for a couple of cattle producers situated north of Bourke to be involved in the National Arbovirus Monitoring Program (NAMP).

The NAMP is a program that monitors the distribution of insect-borne viruses of ruminant livestock, such as Bluetongue virus, and their insect vectors, in Australia.

The zones are currently under review and if a negative result is returned from the properties north of Bourke, the NSW NAMP coordinator can put a case forward to move the positive zone up to the border so producers in the Western LLS region will be in the negative zone.

This would be a one-off collection from 20 home bred cattle, 12 to 18 months of age who are situated in the current infected (yellow) or surveillance (khaki) zone adjacent to the Queensland border (see map).

Contributing producers are able to claim a small payment to assist with the costs of mustering. For more information on the NAMP contact Dr Cavanagh on 0429 773 021.

Pictured below is Charlotte Cavanagh at "Springvale". The Lewis family at "Springvale" have been participating in the NAMP program since 2007.


Monitoring month extended until the end of November

If you have a project with us that involves yearly monitoring, September is generally the month to submit your photo and project report.

Due to the seasonal conditions, the time frame for submitting monitoring for 2018 has been extended, with monitoring due by 30 November 2018. 

This year we plan to offer an online form for landholders to submit their monitoring. We are currently working through some issues with the online form process, more information will be provided regarding this in coming weeks. 

If you wish to post your monitoring you can send to PO Box 342, Bourke NSW 2840.  

For more information contact Jenny Azevedo, Natural Resource Management Team Leader on 02 6870 8622.

Senior Land Services Officer, Brian Dohnt and landholder Dennis Stewart, at a monitoring point on "Booberoi Station" where the Stewart family has carried out some weed management and riparian fence work. 

Trained and ready to respond in case of emergency

At the end of August, a number of our Biosecurity Officers participated in an emergency management exercise in Broken Hill. 

The emergency management exercise aimed to identify issues, and evaluate response, to a mass animal transport road crash with a van carrying several passengers in Western NSW. 

The main task of our Biosecurity Officers was the removal and temporary storage of the uninjured livestock, assessing the injured livestock, coordinating the humane destruction of all badly injured livestock and the removal of the deceased livestock from the scene of the accident.

This exercise comes on the back of another emergency management exercise we were involved in in 2017 at Packsaddle. 

For further information on emergency management or any biosecurity services in the Western region, contact 1300 795 299 and ask for your local Biosecurity Officer.

The emergency management exercise also involved representatives from the NSW Department of Primary Industries, NSW Police, NSW State Emergency Service, Fire and Rescue NSW, NSW Ambulance and local landholders. Pictured is a drone image taken at the emergency management exercise in Packsaddle in 2017. 

Sunray Warriors - an environmental adventure proves a hit with kids

Earlier this month we were one of several agencies, including Western Landcare NSW, across the Sunraysia area that were involved in the 'Sunray Warriors - an environmental adventure' event that brought 700 students, 205 of which were from four NSW schools, together. 

The event was an opportunity for the kids to come and learn about the importance of environmental protection and conservation, which was mainly done through hands-on activities. 

Our activity involved the students learning about the habitat of different threatened species and concluded with a game of memory matching a variety of native, pest animals and pest plants. 

The two-day event was a great success and one we were again happy to be involved in.

If you'd like more information on the event or other community opportunities contact Senior Land Services Officer, Kaye Gottschutzke on (03) 5021 9409.  

Students getting ready to play a game of memory at the Sunray Warriors event. 

Important animal health update now available 

Earlier this month we distributed a newsletter from our District Veterinarians that had a number of important animal health updates. 

Some of the items covered were:
  • pregnancy toxaemia and milk fever
  • importance of vaccinations
  • pulpy kidney
  • dry times and vitamins. 
If you missed this newsletter click here to access it on our website.

DroughtHub to assist landholders during dry times

DroughtHub provides a one-stop online destination for information on a vast range of services and support available to primary producers, their families and communities to prepare for and manage drought conditions.  

It is regularly updated and includes a detailed breakdown of the recent drought relief package announcement including FAQs on all aspects of what is available. 

The NSW Government is committed to working closely with farmers, stakeholders and other organisations to ensure NSW is better prepared for drought conditions. Image: Jessica Payton.

Take a minute to get to know your local Biosecurity Officer

Our Biosecurity Officers are based throughout the Western region and they are here to help! Take a minute to meet your local, friendly biosecurity officer.
Remember to keep Western LLS updated with your changes

If you have changed your address, phone number, e-mail address or recently sold your property then we want to hear from you. 

Please advise us of any change to your details via email or by calling one of our friendly Customer Service Officers:
  • Lauren Standen (Balranald/Hillston regions) on (03) 5020 1691
  • Mandy McKay (Broken Hill/Wilcannia/Tibooburra region) on (08) 8087 3378
  • Rhoda Betts (Brewarrina/Bourke/Wanaaring regions) on (02) 6839 2047
  • Meredith Brands (Cobar region) on (02) 6836 2081 
  • Kristie Scott (Buronga/Wentworth regions) on (03) 5021 9400.
We can also assist you with:
  • information about property transfers
  • applying for new Property Identification Codes (PICs)
  • changing PIC managership 
  • applying for brands marks and routine stock movement permits 
  • assisting with Annual Land and Stock Returns.
Further information can also be found on our website by clicking here.
Until next time...

Thanks for reading our September newsletter, please hit reply or contact your local Western Local Land Services office for further information on any of the items.

Please forward this newsletter onto anyone who would benefit or enjoy seeing what has been happening in the Western region.
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Western Local Land Services 
Freecall: 1300 795 299

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