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Welcome to our October Newsletter!

We are excited to advise that Minister Littleproud formally announced the endorsement of the National Feral Pig Action Plan (the Plan) by the National Biosecurity Committee on 27 October 2021. This is very welcome news as it formally recognises the Plan as the national coordinated strategy to bring everyone together to address and reduce the extensive impacts caused by feral pigs across Australia. A copy of the Plan can be downloaded here.
 
Achieving strong community engagement, and ongoing involvement, in coordinated and strategic feral pig management programs is imperative for the Plan’s ambitious vision to be realised. Our initial step to start actioning the Plan, through establishing demonstration sites to support a national approach to integrated best practice management, has been mentioned in the past couple of newsletters. We are pleased to announce the first set of existing management programs that have accepted our invitation to become part of our initial group of demonstration sites. They are:
  • Western Cape Turtle Threat Abatement Alliance and Catchment to Coral programs in Cape York, Far North Queensland
  • MidWest Feral Pig Demonstration Site, Western Australia
  • Carpentaria Land Council Aboriginal Corporation, Queensland
  • Western Riverina Pest Program, New South Wales
  • Whitsunday Region Management Program, Queensland.
These demonstration sites have been selected based on the approaches being used to control feral pig populations and monitor and evaluate the results being attained, their leadership and community engagement. We are now working with these groups to showcase the various control strategies and monitoring methods used and outcomes being achieved to other groups.
 
If you missed our Stakeholder Forum that focussed on developing a feral pig management plan, best practice management and the importance of monitoring, these can be accessed here. We are developing a fact sheet on baiting options for feral pigs that will be available soon on our website.
Image by D. Panther, supplied by Centre for Invasive Species Solutions
Feature articles
NAILSMA launches the HealthyCountryAI partnership
Kelsey Harrigan from Normanby Land Management collecting data on cattle movements on Normanby Station. Photo supplied by NAILSMA.
 
A new $2.6 million Indigenous-led program that aims to mobilise the latest digital technology for land and sea managers working in remote regions of northern Australia (http://healthycountryai.com/) was launched in September by the National Feral Pig Management Strategy Implementation Committee chair, Ricky Archer, and supported by its Scientific Advisory Panel chair, Justin Perry.

The North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance (NAILSMA) and CSIRO, in collaboration with The Telstra Foundation, Microsoft, the Australian Government's National Environmental Science Program (NESP) Resilient Landscapes Hub and the Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship program, unveiled the initiative. This program enables local Indigenous rangers to work with scientists and technology specialists to learn and use new inclusive AI and digital skills to monitor the health of their Country. Read more here.
Latest news
Minor use permits approved
Two minor use permits submitted to Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) by DAF Queensland to allow the injection of banana and mango (PER89377) and fresh red meat (PER89572) with 1080 concentrate (sodium fluoroacetate) have been approved. These permits are in place until 31 October 2024. Conditions of use detailed in these permits must be complied with. For further details, please click here to search for the permits.
2021-22 WA Natural Resource Management Program's (NRM) Community Stewardship grants announced
Congratulations to three of the successful 2021-22 WA Natural Resource Management Program’s (NRM) Community Stewardship grants which were announced this week (read more here). These projects encompass landscape scale, cross tenure, multi-stakeholder, coordinated feral pig management programs in different regions of the state. The Lower Blackwood Land Conservation District Committee’s project is titled “Feral pig focus - protecting the Scott Coastal Plain”. The Shire of Plantagenet in the Great Southern, South West’s project is “Feral pig control – protecting environmental assets in the Warren Region WA”. The North Kimberley Land Conservation District Committee’s project is “Determining feral pig spatial extent in the north Kimberley”. 
 
More detail about these projects will be provided in upcoming newsletters.
 
The economic costs of biological invasions in the world and Australia
A “Big Issues in Biodiversity Science” webinar was held by the Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute on Thursday 21st October. This webinar emphasised the international collaborative effort that was involved in trying to measure the economic costs of invasive species and the challenges in estimating true costs of vertebrate pests and weed impacts in Australia. To view the presentations, click here.
Image by Guy Weerasinghe, NAQS
Exotic Disease update
ASF Vaccine-USDA brief

On 30 September 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) announced that a new African swine fever virus (ASF) vaccine candidate has been shown to protect and prevent both European and Asian bred pigs against the current circulating Asian strain of the virus. This vaccine candidate has the ability to be commercially produced.

Australia is free of African swine fever in both the domestic and feral populations, however it is present in both Timor Leste and Papua New Guinea. The disease is also getting closer to the US mainland, with pigs in Haiti and the Dominican Republic now afflicted. This vaccine is a promising defence against ASF and could be an important instrument in Australia’s biosecurity toolkit.

Read the original research paper in Transboundary and Emerging Diseases.

What you need to know about Foot and Mouth Disease?

A large multi-state outbreak of Foot-and- Mouth disease in Australia has been estimated to result in economic losses of $50 billion over 10 years. A video has been produced by the European Commission for the control of Foot and Mouth Disease (EuFMD) explaining foot and mouth disease, available here.

ASF Training

A reminder that an online ASF training module, developed for meat inspectors with support from Australian Pork Limited, is freely available through MINTRAC. It’s a great resource for anyone working closely with pigs. Go to MyTOM learning portal and register for an account. Other Emergency Animal Disease (EAD) training resources are also available via this portal.

Living with ASF - a South African perspective

A podcast involving Johann Kotzé, CEO of the South Africa Pork Producers Organisation, discusses how South African pork producers deal with the constant threat of African swine fever, which has been endemic in South Africa since 1928. The importance of being prepared, acting swiftly and having strong biosecurity practices in place are vital. Listen to the podcast here.

Funding Opportunities
Biosecurity Innovation Program 2022-2023

Expressions of interest are being sought for projects to improve and strengthen Australia’s biosecurity system. 21 projects will share in more than $5 million of funding. The focus areas are collaboration and communication, data and intelligence, risk analysis and surveillance needed to help keep Australia free from exotic pests and diseases. Find Minister Littleproud’s announcement here. For more information, click here.

Application close 3 December 2021.

Networks to Build Drought Resilience Program

Round two of the Networks to Build Drought Resilience program is now open and aims to fund approximately 65 projects. The Australian government is partnering with the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) to support agriculture dependent communities with small-scale grants for community organisations, networks and infrastructure that supports drought resilience.

Applications close 15 November 2021. For more information, click here.

Northern Australia Development Program

A $111.9 million grant program will open in early November 2021 to help grow and drive diversification in Northern Australia businesses and create employment opportunities across the region. The Northern Australia Business Development Grants target small to medium entities with business expansion and diversification grants between $50,000 to $2 million. The Northern Australia Industry Transformation Grants will offer corporations between $3 million and $10 million to establish a new industry or grow an existing one.

Applications open 4 November 2021 and are open for applications throughout the year. The assessment committee will consider batches of applications approximately every 3 months.

For more information visit here.

Dates for the Diary
Territory NRM Conference,
Darwin, 16-18 November 2021

ESA2021 – 61st Annual Conference of Ecological Society of Australia,
Online, 22-26 November 2021

Australasian Wildlife Management Society,
Online, 7-9 December 2021.

2nd Australian Biosecurity Symposium,
Gold Coast, 3-5 May 2022
In the News
International
Contact

Thanks for reading the October edition of our newsletter. Your continued support with spreading the word about the NFPAP throughout your networks, including to land managers that you are directly working with is appreciated. If it has been forwarded to you, please subscribe so you automatically receive it.

If you have any suggestions for articles and information that you’d like to see included in this newsletter, please get in touch via contact@feralpigs.com.au.

Visit the NFPAP website here: https://feralpigs.com.au/

For further information or to get in touch, please see:

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