Pig hunting illegal in baited parks

AFTER the announcement of feral pig baiting by NSW National Parks and Wildlife in the Ballina Nature Reserve, some people have taken it as fair game to hunt on the site - illegally - said the service yesterday.

NPWS Pest management officer Lisa Wellman said over the last week people have been entering the national park armed with pig-hunting dogs and possibly even guns - actions which are both illegal.

"It is a significant wetland on the far north coast, and that's why it's important for us to coordinate pig control in that area. We don't take the matter lightly in that respect."

"To make these programs succeed we need people to support and coordinate with us but when people go in illegally, that doesn't coordinate with us, it actually impacts us."

"It makes it hard for our programs to be effective."

Last week vandalism had occurred on the site, breaking one of the gates, which are very important for wildlife control, she said.

"We ask the community to help in pig control in terms of reporting sightings because otherwise illegal activity occurs, and people break things."

"It's trespassing, you can't go onto other people's land (but) people don't seem to understand that it's not appropriate."

Ms Wellman said that besides the fact that it's actually illegal to take dogs into national parks, it's also completely irresponsible to put these dogs in danger of ingesting poison baits.

"It's really irresponsible dog ownership as well in the fact that there are poison baits in there."

Ms Wellman asked the public to be vigilant and if they see something suspicious, to report it to them on 1300 361 967.

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