SINCE 2011 professional contractors have euthanised at least 3,500 deer in the Illawarra region in an effort to reduce the population of the pest species. Included in that number were 770 during the last financial year.
These were some of the figures revealed by Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery when fronting a Federal Government Senate Inquiry on Wednesday July 22.
Cr Bradbery told the inquiry into the impact of feral animals in Australia of how Wollongong City Council is struggling to control feral deer. His commentary provided detail on the continuing impact of rusa deer, even as Council works to contain the growth of the pest species in the Illawarra.
“It’s well documented that our city has a problem with feral deer and it was important to take the opportunity to share our first-hand experience with the Committee,” Cr Bradbery said.
“It’s an issue that’s particularly challenging between May and August when the annual rut is on and the deer move down from the escarpment and into more urban areas in search of a mate and to establish territory.
“We and our partners are working hard but the scale of this issue is too big, and the challenge of working in an urban environment far exceeds the resources available to us. We need additional funding to provide additional culling operations to ensure this program is sustainable moving forward.”
The Council works with partners under a South East Local Land Services-managed program to employ professional contractors to humanely euthanise deer.
“We also need to continue to partner with others to continue our ongoing research into deer to understand herd distributions, environmental impacts and to improve deer control methods.’’
The Senate inquiry into the impact of feral deer, pigs and goats in Australia and national priorities to prevent problems worsening for the natural environment, community and farmers is ongoing. For more information visit the Australian Government website here.
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