Wombat crop protection permits revoked in West Tamar to protect those with mange

Wombats suffering mange in the West Tamar will be protected after the state government revoked three crop protection permits in the West Tamar zone.

While crop protection permits have been used by farmers as a mechanism to control wombat numbers Primary Industries Minister Jeremy Rockliff said he understood there was considerable community concern over permits being used in areas where wombats are suffering mange.

Three crop protection permits in the West Tamar area have been revoked after consultation between the government, the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association and the chief veterinary officer.

The West Tamar zone is bounded by the Tamar, Meander and Rubicon rivers and there will be no new permits issued in this zone until the local wombat population has recovered to a sustainable level.

“While data suggests wombat numbers have increased statewide, we also know the prevalence of wombat mange is unusually high in a localised area around the West Tamar, with a reduction in population in the Narawntapu National Park of 94 per cent since 2010,” Mr Rockliff said.

DPIPWE prioritises non-lethal measures and has tightened the process to ensure a crop protection permit for wombats is only considered as a method of last resort. Only four permits have been issued in 2017.

A $100,000 statewide monitoring program to research the extent and prevalence of mange has also been announced by the state government.

The department will also work with the TFGA to support farmers on alternative options to manage the damage caused by wombats.