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Feral pig campaign reaps rewards for Blue Mountains community

A coordinated feral pig monitoring and trapping campaign is helping landholders in the Blue Mountains protect their stock and domestic pets against the threat of disease.

Coordinated by Greater Sydney Local Land Services the campaign has seen property owners from throughout the region involved in the trapping of feral pigs on their land.

Senior Biosecurity Officer Lee Parker said the latest effort had seen about 30 adult pigs and their young trapped and removed from the environment.

“We collected blood samples from nine of the animals to test for zoonotic diseases such as Q fever, brucella suis and leptospirosis. These diseases present a risk to the community in that they can be transferred from animals to humans and can also have serious health implications for domestic pets and stock,” he said.

“Thankfully these particular animals tested negative but we will continue to work to further minimise the risk.”

John Hollingdale owns a cattle property in the Northern Blue Mountains.

He said feral pigs had caused damage to his land and were a menace to himself and his stock.

“At times I have seen up to 10 or 12 large pigs travelling together at one time,” he said.

“They are a real problem because you can’t predict their movements or behavioural patterns a lot of the time.

“Working with the Greater Sydney Biosecurity team has really helped me take some power back on my land. I believe this work makes a huge difference in controlling the spread of these pests.

“It is important landholders do their bit to protect their land and the environment around them.”

Mr Parker said the team had set up motion detector cameras at various sites throughout the region to monitor the movements of the pigs.

“This enables us to be more strategic about how we tackle these pests and ensures we are targeting the right areas,” he said.

Feral pigs are estimated to cost Australian agriculture more than $100 million and cause serious environmental impacts including the destruction of native vegetation and predation of native animals.

They are also play a major part in the entry of exotic diseases such as Foot and Mouth which could have a devastating impact on Australian agriculture.

Media contact: Nikki McGrath (02) 4724 2138 M: 0448 953 755