Call for a wild dog drop in session in the Eildon electorate

Community drop-in sessions on wild dog management have been held around the state, but none close to problem areas in Yarra Ranges. Picture: ON FILE

By Callum Ludwig

Eildon MP Cindy McLeish has called for a community drop-in session with the region’s Wild Dog Controller to be held closer to home in the Yarra Ranges.

Speaking in Parliament, Ms McLeish said the Department of Agriculture was virtually ignoring the wild dog problem across the Yarra Ranges, highlighting examples from Yellingbo, Hoddles Creek, and Dixons Creek.

“I have met with landowners across the Yarra Ranges about the impact wild dogs are having on their livelihoods,” she said.

“In Hoddles Creek there is one farmer who had several sheep severely attacked and requiring veterinary care. There have been sightings of packs of wild dogs coming on to private property that borders the forest.”

“Yarra Ranges residents are calling for Wild Dog Management plans and a local trapper to help them manage the wild dogs in the area.”

The Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action and the Department of Agriculture confirmed that sessions with the intention of helping support communities to develop their approach to Wild Dog Management across the state.

A DEECA spokesperson said these sessions have been organised within each of the 15 Wild Dog Management Zones.

“A session for the Gembrook, Noojee and Erica Wild Dog Management Zone was held in Willow Grove on 21 March 2024,” A DEECA spokesperson said.

“The face-to-face community drop-in sessions provide an opportunity for the community to discuss wild dog management with DEECA representatives,”

“They also allow the community to provide input on the Wild Dog Management Zone work plans for 1 July 2024 to 30 June 2025.”

Willow Grove is about an hour and 15 minute drive from Hoddles Creek and an hour and 20 minutes from Yellingbo, while also being about an hour and 45 minutes from Dions Creek; known as the problem area for wild dogs in the Eildon electorate.

Having attended a drop-in session in Merrijig, Ms McLeish said said whilst it was a good opportunity for locals to discuss local action and management plans, she was disappointed that these drop-in sessions were only being held in the Hume and Gippsland regions.

“The wild dog problem is no longer contained to just these regions (Hume and Gippsland). The Minister responsible needs to wake up to the reality that these voracious predators have migrated south and are endangering the lives of livestock and posing a significant threat to the safety and livelihoods of Yarra Ranges residents,” she said.

“Farmers need certainty that there will be no reduction to the wild dog control program and certainty that dog trapper staff will be available.”

Locals interested in helping shape the Wild Dog Management Zone work plans can do so online by visiting

Victoria is currently reviewing its wild dog management programs due to a conflict between the current policy and regulatory framework for wild dog management and dingo conservation, in the wake of studies in 2019 and 2021 from the University of New South Wales in Sydney finding that most wild canine species across the country are either pure dingoes or dingo-dominant hybrids (more than 50 per cent dingo genes).

Residents are obligated to report wild dog sightings to their local Wild Dog Controller and can do so by contacting 136 186 or