More funds are needed for the Limestone Coast Landscape Board to boost its feral deer control program through aerial abatement according to Member for Barker Tony Pasin.
Mr Pasin is advocating for increased funding after joining representatives of board and local landholders in Keilira to see first-hand the damage feral deer are doing to the environment and the impacts on agricultural productivity.
“Deer pose a real risk to threatened plant species, particularly as young plants are trying to regrow after bushfire. They also damage bushland through trampling, soil compaction and ring-barking vegetation,” Mr Pasin said.
“From a biosecurity aspect they spread plant diseases and would harbour and spread disease such as foot and mouth and rinderpest should they ever enter Australia.
“Deer also compete with stock for pasture and crops, damage fences and destroy vineyards.”
Mr Pasin said since 2009 the most effective tool in removing large numbers of feral deer had been the aerial control program.
“The program has seen over 12,000 feral deer removed from the Limestone Coast Landscape but it’s clear that more needs to be done,” he said.
“Reducing feral deer numbers across the Limestone Coast will have a positive impact to improve native habitat and support our primary producers.
“We need more funding for the aerial abatement program and I’ll be working in Canberra to deliver that outcome for our local community.”