1000 Pigs Killed in Condamine Aerial Shoot

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Lucy Kinbacher from the Queensland Country Life reported almost 1000 pigs were killed in a four day aerial pig shoot over Condamine last week after producers struggled to keep their crops alive because of the pests.

The aerial cull too place on 138,738 hectare Condamine West Group from Tuesday to Friday and saw almost 1000 pigs and one wild dog killed across 73 properties. 

Last year producers in the area battled a feral pig problem that caused significant damage to chickpea and sorghum crops leading to concerns over spread of disease through pigs such as leptospirosis and worms.

Condamine farmer Jake Hamilton, who grows dryland wheat, chickpea, sorghum and mungbean crops, was one of the 54 landholders involved in the coordinated shoot which saw at least 24 pigs killed on his 3237 hectare property, Burradoo.

The property borders a forestry creating a major pig problem meaning crops grown there are usually written off.

Mr Hamilton said the shoot was perfect timing given he had just finished planting both Burradoo and another 2428 hectare property on Monday. 

“Chickpeas are the ones they really go after and it’s not uncommon for a pig to uproot 200 to 300 metres of crop,” he said.

“I’ve been seeing the same mob every second day of 30 or 40 pigs (in that paddock) so hopefully they have got most of them.

Condamine farmer Richard Wunsch hired the services of Helicopter pilot Scott Bridle and shooter Ben Mann of Straight Shooter Pty Ltd three weeks ago after loosing about 20 hectare of chickpeas to feral pigs last year.

This shoot alone saw about 500 pigs killed over his 2300 hectare property, Yulabilla.

Mr Wunsch purchased the property three years ago and grows about 1700 hectares of wheat and chickpea but it wasn’t until last year that he suffered significant crop damage.

He said he couldn’t afford to let the same thing happen in 2017.

“This year we are all over it which is good,” he said.

“If it (the coordinated shoot) can happen every six months that would be better. They breed so quickly they need to be right on top of it.

“The boys got a drone and the pig tracks were unreal, we had to make a move. We couldn’t wait for the shoot to happen it would have been more than 20 hectares of damage.”

The shoot was a 3 way partnership between Western Downs Regional Council and the Queensland Murray Darling Committee while landowners will pay a portion based on hectares shot. 

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