15 June 2020
Coordinator's Update

Dear stakeholders, 

Welcome to the first of our monthly updates.

Well-known agribusiness leader John Maher has been confirmed as the Chair of the Steering Group leading the development of National Feral Pig Action Plan. As Chair, Mr Maher (pictured) will play an active role working with program coordinator, Dr Heather Channon, and a wide range of stakeholders to deliver a preliminary National Feral Pig Action Plan to the Federal Department of Agriculture by January 2021.

Mr Maher served as the Group CEO of the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation from June 2016 to September 2019, leading a major company transformation while overseeing the management of 2.5 million hectares of land, mainly for agricultural and tourism purposes. He was Managing Director and CEO of Ruralco Holdings for nine years, and previously held senior roles at Wesfarmers and AWB, where he led Landmark (now Nutrien).

There has been important progress in the development of the National Feral Pig Action Plan since our initial National Feral Pig Management meeting on March 30. That online forum, which drew 45 participants from all levels of government, farm organisations and R&D corporations, plus animal welfare and hunting groups, was a valuable opportunity to discuss the shared objectives which will guide the development and implementation of the Plan, to reduce the economic, biodiversity and environmental impacts and biosecurity risks that feral pigs pose in Australia.
Extensive consultation with the wide range of stakeholders and collation of feral pig management initiatives is now well advanced, which has necessitated a great deal of online and behind-the-scenes work amid COVID-19 restrictions. Please see the attached document for a summary of my initial findings.

An infographic mapping out the Action Plan can be found here and a website dedicated to this initiative, featuring similar materials, will be launched in the coming days.

As part of its oversight of the Action Plan, Australian Pork Ltd is completing an initial report on feral pigs in Australia, collating the extensive data available to build a stronger consensus about the feral pig population and its economic impacts. This report will be shared with stakeholders in the coming weeks.

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud and his Department have maintained the Government’s strong support for, and interest in, the development of the Action Plan. A number of recent announcements, ranging from investing in drones to manage feral pigsfunding to help farmers fight pests and Australian assistance to manage ASF in Papua New Guinea demonstrates clear alignment between the Federal Government and other stakeholders in combating feral pigs and mitigating disease risks.

We welcome the opportunity to broaden the distribution of our communications and encourage interested individuals representing any relevant organisations to contact me.

Kind regards, 

Dr Heather Channon
National Feral Pig Management Coordinator

0423 056 045

Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy webinar

On Wednesday 3 June, APL hosted a webinar describing the animal health surveillance, disease detection and indigenous training activities undertaken by the Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy (NAQS).

As ASF was recently confirmed in Papua New Guinea, this was a timely opportunity for APL members to better understand NAQS activities.

Please direct enquiries for further information, or access to the webinar recording, via this link.

In the news

Further reading

Heading out to hunt pigs? You might be the first to see signs of a deadly disease which affects both wild and domestic pigs. (Courtesy: Animal Health Australia)
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