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How Can Guardian Animals Manage Pests?

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Guardian animals, particularly dogs can help manage pests and predators by protecting livestock.

That’s according to Natural Resources SAMDB who are running a free guardian animals and predator management workshop for landholders at Yalumba Winery in Angaston on Thursday June 22.

Natural Resources SAMDB Operations Manager Peter Michelmore said pest plants and animals have a huge impact on agricultural productivity, costing Australia’s agricultural sector billions of dollars a year.

“They also have a real impact on farmers’ profits and productivity,” Mr Michelmore said.

“The focus of this workshop will be on the use of guardian dogs, primarily Maremmas, for protecting livestock from predators such as foxes, an ongoing challenge for Australian producers.

“Through the Australian Government’s Pests Cost Us All Program we are able to offer workshops such like this one, to help our farmers manage pest animals and plants, as pest control is everyone’s business.

“Along with the traditional forms of pest animal control, it is worth investigating the benefits of alternative methods such as the use of guardian animals, Mr Michelmore said.

Natural Resources SAMDB District Officer Sophie Harrison works with landholders to improve Natural Resources Management (NRM) practices in the Ranges to River NRM District.

“Livestock guardian dogs are pastoral dogs bred specifically for the purpose of protecting livestock from predators,” Ms Harrison said.

“Livestock guardian dogs stay with the group of animals they protect as a full-time or part-time member of the flock or herd.

“Their ability to guard their herd is mainly instinctive, as the dog is bonded to the herd from an early age.

“This workshop is an excellent opportunity for landholders to hear from interstate and local experts in this field including John Holland, who has been breeding and training Maremma dogs for quite some time and has had success in protecting his turkey flock from predators,” she said.

Places are limited, so interested people are encouraged to register to Sophie Harrison via email; sophie.harrison@sa.gov.au or mobile 0429976482 or on Eventbrite https://predatormanagement.eventbrite.com.au.