Wild dogs policy

The term ‘wild dog’ refers to all free-living dogs in NSW, including dingoes, feral dogs and their hybrids. NPWS controls feral and hybrid wild dogs to minimise harm.

Wild dog in snow, Kosciuszko National ParkWild dogs can kill and harm livestock, especially sheep. As a result, they have been declared a pest under the Local Land Services Act 2013 (LLS Act).

Under the LLS Act, managers of public land (including the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS)) must control wild dogs to the extent necessary to minimise the risk of the pest causing damage on any land.

However, to balance the need to control feral and hybrid wild dogs with the conservation of dingoes, the Pest Control Order for Wild Dogs allows the control obligation for lands listed under Schedule 2 of the Order to be satisfied through the preparation of a wild-dog management plan that addresses both the control of wild dogs and the conservation of dingoes.

This policy explains how NPWS meets its obligations to control wild dogs under the Pest Control Order. NPWS aims to minimise the risk of wild dogs causing damage while allowing for the conservation of dingoes within areas of national parks and reserves listed under Schedule 2 of the Pest Control Order.

Policy

1. NPWS will undertake wild dog control to meet its obligations under the LLS Act and the Local Lands Services (Wild Dogs) Pest Control Order 2015 (PDF 173KB).

2. NPWS may also undertake wild dog control to:

  • ensure the safety of staff and visitors in parks
  • minimise the impacts of wild dogs on biodiversity, especially where predation by wild dogs has been identified as a threat to species listed under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (including sites identified in recovery plans or threat-abatement plans)
  • minimise the flow of feral-dog genes into the dingo population.

3. NPWS will develop wild-dog management plans for all parks listed under Schedule 2 of the Local Land Services (Wild Dogs) Pest Control Order 2015 and subsequent orders. These plans will be developed in accordance with the NSW Guidelines for the Preparation and Implementation of Wild Dog Management Plans (PDF 339KB) to address both wild dog control and conservation of dingoes.

4. NPWS will implement wild-dog control in parks as agreed to in wild-dog management plans. NPWS may also contribute to agreed collaborative actions such as reactive trapping.

5. NPWS will work with park neighbours, wild-dog control associations and Local Land Services to plan, implement and report on the collaborative control of wild dogs. This may include planning for strategic aerial baiting programmes and reactive trapping.

NPWS will use a range of best-practice methods to:

  • maximise the cost-effectiveness of wild-dog control
  • minimise the risk to non-target species
  • ensure control is done humanely.

Methods will be consistent with the Code of Practice and Standard Operating Procedures (NPWS internal document) for the humane control of wild dogs.

NPWS will undertake an appropriate level of risk assessment prior to controlling wild dogs to minimise negative impacts on non-target species, especially species listed as threatened under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 and the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

NPWS will aim to achieve effective wild-dog control while allowing for the conservation of dingoes in Schedule 2 areas by targeting wild-dog control in areas near livestock. This does not preclude wild-dog or fox control in other Schedule 2 areas for other reasons as outlined in this Policy. NPWS may also monitor the status of dingo populations and level of hybridisation within Schedule 2 areas.

9. NPWS will capture data on control efforts in a statewide database, the Pest and Weed Information System.

10. NPWS will report on the implementation of wild-dog management plans and other wild-dog control in the way set out in the NSW Guidelines for the Preparation and Implementation of Wild Dog Management Plans (PDF 339KB).

NPWS will report on:

  • the total expenditure on wild-dog control
  • the area covered by control measures
  • the methods used.

Policy adopted 24 May 2017

Scope and application

This policy applies to all lands acquired or reserved under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 (NPW Act), except for lands reserved under Part 4A (Aboriginal Land) of the NPW Act, unless the Board of Management for those lands has adopted the policy.

Definition

Park is a reserve gazetted under the NPW Act, including a national park, nature reserve, historic site, Aboriginal area, State conservation area, karst conservation reserve, regional park or any land acquired by the Minister under Part 11 of the Act.

Accountabilities

Accountabilities under this policy are in accordance with the delegation of Ministerial and Director-General functions under the NPW Act and the National Parks and Wildlife Regulation 2009.

This table only lists accountabilities that are additional to the legal delegations.

Paragraph Position
3. Approving wild-dog management plans Director