Wild dog biocontrol is no magic bullet

At the inaugural Stakeholder Consultative Group meeting it was suggested that: “current approaches [to wild dog control] are not working and we needed a new angle, and that may be biological control”. Following on from this further informal advice indicated there is unlikely to be any definitive documentation of potential biological control options for wild dogs.

The Implementation Steering Committee sought further advice from the CSIRO, Australia’s premier science agency, regarding the following points:

  1. Are there any broad scale wild dog/canid biocontrol agents are currently in use?
    CSIRO response: No, there are none available or, to their knowledge, under development.
  2. Feasibility of often cited options (eg. Canine parvovirus, which was noted as already prevalent in Australia.
    CSIRO response: Unlikely to be feasible.
  3. Risks associated with public acceptance of domestic and protected dogs.
    CSIRO response: Lethal biological control does not appear to be supported by society in Australia currently largely on the basis of animal welfare concerns, but also due to difficulty in managing delivery to feral and not to domestic dogs.

For more detailed information see:


The National Wild Dog Action Plan is an industry initiative endorsed by Government.
Wild dog information published by the Invasive Animals CRC is at www.pestsmart.org.au/pest-animal-species/wild-dog/

Key information contacts:

Action Plan Implementation Manager:
Jane Littlejohn Mb: 0427 827 498  E: jane.littlejohn@invasiveanimals.com

National Wild Dog Facilitator:
Greg Mifsud Mb: 0448 189 909 E: greg.mifsud@invasiveanimals.com

CONTROL: Model Code of Practice and Standard Operating Procedures
[www.pestsmart.org.au/animal-welfare/humane-codes/]

Download the plan

Last updated: December 16, 2015