Liberals called on to manage wildlife

THE Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association will pursue a good neighbour charter with the Liberal government to address the "exploding" number of pest species feeding on private pastures.

TFGA policy and advocacy manager Peter Skillern said significant increase in wallaby and deer numbers had been reported across the state, a trend he believed would further threaten pasture viability and farmers' financial gain.

As per the TFGA pre- election wish list, Mr Skillern said the organisation would call on the new government to better manage wildlife, and agree to meet half the cost of fencing properties that backs onto crown land.

Deputy Liberal leader and primary industries spokesman Jeremy Rockliff said the party would open discussions with the TFGA, but said the Liberals needed to be mindful about financial arrangements due to a fragile budget.

"We have provided no financial commitments in this area, but we are committed to working with farmers around implementing effective browsing control techniques," Mr Rockliff said.

Rising Bennett's wallaby and Tasmanian pademelon numbers have long been a concern for Tasmanian farmers, with the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment acknowledging the damage caused by each species to the agricultural and forestry sectors.

Mr Skillern said an emerging trend had been a rising number of deer, which used corridors of public reserves to move about the state.

"Often these pest species come from government land," Mr Skillern said.

"So we want to see the crown take responsibility for these animals."

Chris Simcox, of Against Animal Cruelty Tasmania, said the answer did not lie in shooting or poisoning.

"Measures such as shooting and poisons will work in the short term, but the numbers will keep coming back, and the cycle will continue."

Email adruce@examiner.com.au

Twitter @AlexDruce1987

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