Four large feral pigs caught on a local Clifton grain property in February.
Four large feral pigs caught on a local Clifton grain property in February. Linda Mantova

Pigs decimate western Queensland lamb populations

FERAL pigs are wreaking havoc on western Queensland as dry conditions force the thriving populations closer to farms.

Craig Alison from South West Natural Resource Management said sheep and wool producers were some of the hardest-hit, with ravenous swine eating lambs.

"The feral pig predation has been extreme on land managers, especially those in the sheep and wool industry," he said.

"In some case lambing percentages at weaning time or earmarking time has been as low as 20 per cent.

"That means if you had a 1000 ewes lambing, you would expect 800 or so lambs but in reality only 200 lambs have come in when mustering.

"Feral pigs are also creating havoc on water points and troughs by fouling the water, preventing stock and native animals from access and wallowing in the immediate area to troughs, making it very deep and boggy.

"Domestic stock are getting bogged and then become easy prey for the feral pigs."

Back Plains recreational shooter Brandan Wassell said the Darling Downs was rife with booming pig populations.

This weekend he will head to a property in Moonie to cull as many as he can.

"My record is 56 for a week, and I'd expect to get around that number out at Moonie," he said.

"Around Toowoomba, the worst places at the moment are probably Hodgsonvale, Murphys Creek and Flagstone Creek.

"If there's grain, they're there - but it's not just grain.

"They're turning over all the grass and eating the goats and lambs.

"Pigs will take whatever food they can get."