Pig trapping workshop

Have you seen signs of feral pigs on your property? Have you seen disturbance and thought it was pigs but weren’t sure? Do you want to learn the most effective trapping techniques for feral pigs? Then come along to the Pest Fest with two feral pig trapping workshop to choose from and many more activities on show.

A family of feral pigs


Feral pigs are a serious environmental and agricultural pest across Australia. They are found in all states and territories, particularly around wetlands and river systems.

They prey on native animals and plants, dig up large expanses of soil and vegetation in search of food and foul fresh water. Feral pigs will eat many things including small mammals, birds, reptiles, frogs, crayfish, eggs, earthworms and other invertebrates, and all parts of plants including the fruit, seeds, roots, tubers, bulbs and foliage.

Feral pigs can host animal diseases that can be transmitted to other species. In dirt on their feet and fur, they can also spread plant pathogens such as Phytophthora cinnamomi, which causes plant dieback. Feral pigs move around to new sites with food and water, and can breed rapidly to recover from control programs or droughts, and the impacts of feral pigs are intensified when their populations are large.


A feral pig walking through undergrowth





Attendees at the workshop will learn all aspects of pig trapping from experienced officers including:
-Practical knowledge of the effective and ethical management of feral pigs.
-Impact of pigs on the agriculture and natural environments.
-Learn how to trap,1080 baiting options,
-Recognise pig activity through scats and rutting.
-Impacts of pigs as vectors of disease and pathogens.











Workshop Details:

Times -12.00pm and 1.00pm 

Venue-Waroona Landcare Centre

Registrations essential, email comms.phbg@gmail.com


MEDIA RELEASE- Fox control workshop in Harvey


Fox control workshop in Harvey

Members of the public wanting to know more about the latest approaches to controlling foxes on their property are encouraged to attend a free event at the Harvey RSL Hall on July 13, at 2 pm.

The Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group is putting on a workshop which promises information on new technologies and hands-on demonstrations.

The control of foxes comes at a critical time for two main reasons.

First, the calicivirus has knocked down rabbit numbers, and foxes will seek alternative food sources which may include poultry, young lambs, as well as native wildlife.

Second, the most effective fox control is achieved during late winter and spring: at this time foxes are less mobile as they are rearing young and food demands are high.

Participants are asked to register for the event so that organisers can accommodate all participants in the hands-on demonstrations.

Demonstrations will include the operation of the candid pest ejector, which is a new way of deploying 1080 to foxes.

There will also be information on permit requirements for 1080.

Vaughn Byrd, chairperson of the Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group, is keen for local landholders to attend. “The Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group is committed to bringing the latest information on best-practice pest control to the local community,” he said.

“We have taken the opportunity to host a number of experts who are travelling through the South West in the hope that the community comes together to learn new skills and think about ways of taking a regional approach to fox management,” he said.

Please email your RSVP to info@peelharveybiosecurity.info

A light afternoon tea will be provided so please indicate whether you have specific dietary requirements.

Children can attend the event with an enclosed outdoor play area available to keep them amused.


Media Contact-

Jonelle Cleland

Executive Officer

Email: exec.officer.phbg@gmail.com

Pests and rides feature at Harvey Show

The Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group attended the 2017 Harvey Agricultural Show. Our enthusiastic committee members, made up of local property owners and representatives from the Shire of Murray and Harvey, tended the stall .


Three members of the Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group at the 2017 Harvey Agricultural Show.

Members from the Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group (from left) Marion Lofthouse, Colleen Archibald and Tom Lerner attend the 2017 Harvey Agricultural Show.


Committee member Marion Lofthouse reported that the day was very successful with new cotton bush infestations reported, “we were able to hand out lots of bumper stickers to interested community members as well as hand out control notes on cotton bush and other weeds”. Marion was also surprised to discover that although many community members were aware of the group through the Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group banners, strategically placed around the Peel-Harvey region, community members were still unaware of what cotton bush actually looked like. Marion says ” when they came to the stall to ask us what cotton bush actually looked like I could show them some cuttings and our potted samples to show them”.


Cotton bush

Narrow leaf cotton bush (Gomphocarpus fruticosus) is a declared pest in Western Australia (WA).

The Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group is looking forward to attending other community shows in 2017 and the events the group are attending can be found in the events section of our website. If you would like more information on the Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group explore the website or visit the Facebook page.

Declared weed infestations can be reported by contacting your local biosecurity group or via the MyWeedWatcher App.


Rabbits: a costly pest

 Did you know that rabbits are Australian agriculture’s most costly pest animal? Annual costs exceed $200 million!

Pioneer Thomas Austin freed about a dozen rabbits on his property near Geelong, Victoria, in 1859 and by 1910 feral rabbits had covered  most of their present range. This spread was despite control efforts such as the Western Australian Government’s 1700 kilometer rabbit-proof fence, built between 1901 and 1907.

Were you aware that Australian native vegetation is very sensitive to rabbit damage? As few as 0.5 rabbits per hectare can remove all seedlings of the more palatable native trees and shrubs!

Rabbits have been attributed to the extinction of several small  ground-dwelling mammals in Australia’s arid lands and have contributed to the decline of many native plants and animals.

National Rabbit Roadshow

Attendees at the National Rabbit Roadshow

Attendees at the National Rabbit Roadshow hosted by the Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group.

People attending the National Rabbit Roadshow were highly impressed by the evidence presented by the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre and Victoria’s Department of Environment and Primary Industries. It was shown that methods for removing rabbits are generally well researched.

Poisoning, warren ripping and fumigation (when used in combination, rather than as a single treatment) can effectively control, and can even eradicate, the animal. This is particularly so when the methods are used at the right time of year to maximise their effectiveness.

Local landholder and Peel-Harvey Biosecurity Group vice chair, Marion Lofthouse, left the event with a new perspective on rabbit control.

“I didn’t realise that an initial up-front investment in rabbit control, using a combination of methods, could provide a sustained effect over many, many years,” Mrs Lofthouse said. ‘Doing the job properly in the first place makes rabbit control a cost-effective farm practice in the longer term.”

Rabbits and their control

The rabbit- a declared pest.

The rabbit- a declared pest.

Are you interested in controlling rabbits on your own property? Perhaps you would prefer getting a group of landholders together for landscape-scale control?

Either way, get in touch with the Peel-Harvey Biosecurity Group at info@peelharveybiosecurity.info. We can provide you with updates in this space, including the rollout of the bio-control agent, RHDV1 K5 across Australia.


Click here for more information.

cat caught on night camera

Tiddles… is this your cat?

Tiddles...is this your cat?

Photo at trap site captures cat after dark.

The latest round of feral animal control coordinated by Landcare SJ concentrated on the trapping of feral cats and foxes in semi-urban areas. Unfortunately, what was caught time and time again were pet cats roaming free at night time.

New cat laws

To be compliant with the new cat laws, all cat owners must ensure their cat is;

  • Microchipped
  • Sterilised
  • Registered with the local council.

This encourages responsible cat ownership by;

  • Reducing the number of unwanted cats being bred
  • Allowing for cats found in a public place, or on private property to be seized
  • Assisting with reuniting of lost cats with their owners.

The Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group supports individual landowners in the control of feral animals. This control includes the use of traps to capture foxes, cats, and rabbits. If a domestic cat is caught in a trap on private property it could be mistaken for a feral animal and disposed of, or alternatively can be handed over to the local government ranger to find the owner. The ranger will be able to track down the cat’s owners through its microchip (required by law). If the cat does not have a microchip the owners can be fined.

Cats impact on our native species, via direct predation, as well as spreading parasites and viruses. Feral cats are the same species as domestic cats (Felis catus) and have been identified in a CSIRO study as the primary cause of recent Australian mammal extinctions. [pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]A conservative estimate puts the total population of feral cats at approximately 4 million. This means feral cats are killing millions of native animals per day.[/pullquote]

Local, state and federal governments as well as conservation and Landcare organisations spend countless hours revegetating and re-establishing native wildlife into bushland. If you own a cat be responsible and keep it indoors, especially at night.

If you would like more information on the trapping of feral pests on your property you can contact the Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group at info@peelharveybiosecurity.info .Further information on your local cat regulations in your area can be found on your local government website.



cat and possum

Feral cats are an important pest management issue.


What is a pest?

The definition of a pest is a destructive insect or other animal that attacks crops, food, livestock, etc.

Animal pests, both vertebrates (backbone) and invertebrates (no backbone), can have an adverse impact on agriculture, the natural environment and even our lifestyle. Animal pests may be exotic animals which are introduced, either accidentally or deliberately. Native animals may also be pests in certain situations.

Eddie Juras talking to Kristy Gregory fro Landcare SJ

Fox control hot topic at the Food and Farm Fest

The Peel-Harvey Biosecurity Group is getting the word out on feral fox control, hosting local expert, Eddie Juras, at the  Food and Farm Fest held on the weekend.


Mr Juras was available to answer questions from festival goers for more than two hours.


With over 40 years of experience in the eradication of feral invasive species across Western Australia, Mr Juras is known locally as the fox whisperer.

Eddie Juras at the Food and Farm Fest 2016


Mr Juras specialises in the use of soft jaw traps, and is keen to pass on his wisdom to landholders.


“Landholders will quickly lose interest in trapping if they don’t get success. I want people to understand the nature of the fox, to help them trap in a way that respects this very intelligent animal,” Mr Juras said.


If you are interested in feral animal control measures that involve trapping, please contact Landcare SJ to book your place at their upcoming workshop.

Eddie Juras and Kristy Gregory from Landcare SJ at the 2016 Food and Farm Fest


The workshop will be held in Keysbrook, on Friday April 29, between 9 and 12. Bookings can be made by phone, 9256 0012, or email, info@landcaresj.com.au


This is a free community event, supported by the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council through funding from the Australian Government.


Photos supplied by Georgina Hinds Photography