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Social acceptability of pest animal management in meeting TGP targets

Did you know that sometimes kangaroos can be responsible for higher grazing pressure than livestock?

Project start date: 10 December 2016
Project end date: 15 August 2018
Publication date: 01 December 2018
Livestock species: Sheep, Lamb, Grassfed cattle
Download Report (3.2 MB)

Summary

Sustainable grazing in southern Australian rangelands requires management of grazing pressure from kangaroos, wild goats and feral pigs.

A review of literature and legislation, as well as interviews with key stakeholders were conducted to assess the industry's acceptability and willingness to adopt best practices to manage these species.

To retain its level of acceptance by the community (social licence to operate), it is essential that the red meat industry can demonstrate to the community why these wild species need to be managed in southern Australia. This can be accomplished by communicating the severity of their impact on land degradation and the threat to industry viability, as well as justifying the control methods chosen.

Objectives

The project reviewed other research and current industry best management practices regarding total grazing pressure in extensive livestock production systems. The project assessed the social acceptability among key stakeholders of the control measures to manage kangaroos, rangeland goats and feral pigs in the southern Australian rangelands.

Key findings

  • The literature review identified key influential stakeholders as the RSPCA, Animals Australia, the National Farmers Federation and state-based farmer advocacy groups.

  • Consultation with these stakeholders found the most socially acceptable forms of pest animal control to manage these species were commercial shooting for kangaroos, trap yards for rangeland goats and ground shooting or trapping for feral pigs.

  • The report recommends that industry maintains a positive dialogue with influential animal welfare organisations and establishes a unified, experienced industry voice, in order to maintain social license to continue managing these pest animals.

Benefits to industry

This research provides the red meat industry with a set of objectives to guide its engagement and communication with key stakeholders and the Australian public around how kangaroos, rangeland goats and feral pigs are controlled to manage total grazing pressure.

MLA action

A report overviewing the primary outcomes of this project was written and distributed to MLA management, the Southern Australia Livestock Research Committee and the Australian Rangelands Society. This report is now part of an on-going discussion between industry influencers and aims to underpin producer-facing engagement and determine the next steps for the industry.

Future research

  • A longitudinal biodiversity survey will provide more information about the impacts of exclusion fencing on what pest management.

  • There is a need for research to enhance control practices for kangaroos, rangeland goats and feral pigs.

 

More information

Contact email: reports@mla.com.au
Primary researcher: NSW Department of Industry