THE use of 1080 baits to control feral animals may be controversial, but grazier Eva Mahy said the poison is absolutely vital for producers.
In April, around 40,000 aerial baits containing the toxin 1080 will be dropped on private land in areas north of Bathurst at a rate of 40 baits for every square kilometre.
It's just devastating.They're eating the lambs the minute they hit the ground or chewing their legs off.Illford grazier Eva Mahy
The baiting alert by the Central Tablelands Local Land Services has attracted condemnation from some residents living close to the drop zone.
But Illford grazier Ms Mahy has pleaded with the community to understand the impact that feral animals can have on stock.
In the last 12 months, she has lost 180 sheep during wild dog and fox attacks and the deaths have not only wiped out some of her income, they have left her heartbroken.
"It's just devastating.They're eating the lambs the minute they hit the ground or chewing their legs off," she said.
"Some of our old rams have had the kidneys pulled out.
"It was absolutely shocking. It's gets really frustrating and financially it's crippling."
Ms Mahy said she had seen her sheep "walking around with their guts hanging out" following some attacks.
The sheep rarely survive the attacks and she is then forced to put them down.
"It's very disheartening to think we're going to have 300 [lambs] hit the ground and only end up with 100," she said.
While Ms Mahy does have professional shooters come onto her property to help control the wild dog and fox populations, the 1080 baits remain vital to her control measures.
"I've had nine dogs killed [by shooters] on my property in the last 12 moths," she said.
Ms Mahy said one of the problems is the "diverse community" who now have smaller rural blocks across the Central West where weekenders mix with bushwalkers, nature lovers and farmers.
"It doesn't matter what you want your block for, they're [wild dogs and foxes] going to have an impact on your land," she said.
"They've killed native animals like lyrebirds and koalas.
"It's not just affecting us … we've already had people [walking on properties] bailed up by wild dogs."
Ms Mahy said 1080 was used widely across the region and the research had shown native animals were less susceptible to the poison.
"All I want to do is make the community aware of how it's affecting us and how it might eventually affect them," she said.
"It's critical that it goes ahead."
Ilford/Running Stream Wild Dog Group
The Ilford/Running Stream Wild Dog Group was formed 12 months ago by concerned residents following the number of attacks on stock.
Ms Mahy has encouraged anyone interested to come along to the group's general meeting on Friday, March 22 at 6.30pm at the Ilford Hall.