ON THE LOOSE: A wild dog captured on camera by professional feral animal killer Tony Hopkins
ON THE LOOSE: A wild dog captured on camera by professional feral animal killer Tony Hopkins Tony Hopkins

Dry weather pushes wild dog populations east says hunter

WILD dogs are not only getting more aggressive, but they're also increasing in numbers, according to professional feral animal pest controller Tony Hopkins.

The Helidon man has been hunting wild dogs for more than 30 years as both a hobby and profession, and he has been documenting the incline.

The owner of Feral Animal Control Service said while wild dogs were originally more of an issue in western parts of the state, populations were moving east.

He said the drought could be causing wild dogs to look for food in different locations.

"More people are moving into the (Lockyer Valley) area with sheep and goats too," Mr Hopkins said.

He said the number of wild dogs he killed last year almost tripled the amount of previous years.

"Usually you pick up two or three a year, last year I got nine and seven of those were only two or three kilometres from our house," he said.

Mr Hopkins said he was also sighting more wild dogs.

Within the past fortnight there has been at least six separate wild dog attacks, which have either killed or maimed animals. Residents reported sheep, a calf and a pony to all be attacked.

Mr Hopkins said the number of feral animals were increasing because hunting was a costly burden.

"The feral animal population is on the increase because of the cost of licencing, the cost of fuel and because it takes a lot of time," he said.

Lockyer Valley Regional Council offered hunters $25 per wild dog scalp.

The Wild Dog, Fox and Pig 1080 Baiting Program was also available to eligible residents.

Bait collection will take place at various places across the Lockyer Valley from May 22, but residents have to apply before 4.30pm on Wednesday, May 15 if they wish to collect.