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Byron Shire
April 23, 2021

Dog baiting necessary to protect wildlife

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Lois Hunt, Broken Head.

Is the National government’s irrational concern over Johnny Depp’s pet dogs a strategic cover-up to disguise an out of control environmental problem? Packs of free ranging mutant dogs are already creating an environmental crisis in Australia. They are considered an out-of-control crisis if you care about the destruction of the natural wildlife with the predator kill-off of wallabies, koalas, reptiles and bird life. They are considered a social crisis for those people whose hearts are broken when their pets and livestock are killed off by the wild dogs, roaming the national parks and farm land, killing for the joy of it.

I am one of those with a broken heart. I had no idea these dogs existed until one night in March they killed one of my pet alpacas. Ruthlessly chasing it, attacking it and leaving it to linger in a slow painful death. I soon learned that these packs of dogs have been roaming the Lennox Head, Newrybar, Seven Mile Beach, Broken Head areas, returning twice a month for another kill. Within a few months, seven alpaca pets were killed on another property near Lennox.

Farmers are loosing their cattle and sheep. Others are losing their pet dogs, as they try to fend off or hide from the wild packs. One farmer revealed that he feared for his safety, even in the daytime, as a wild dog appeared and confronted the man in an isolated area. The farms in Ballina, Alstonville, Lismore and Kyogle are also affected by plagues of wild dogs attacking vulnerable animals for the chase and the kill.

These dogs are roaming through the natural park areas, killing off the native animals. For years I maintained my property at Broken Head as a refuge for several generations of wallabies. Sadly this year there are only two left. The dogs have extended their range of night roaming.

Now that they are in the Broken Head range, I have created a 1.5 meter steel night cage for my other 3 alpacas. These dogs can jump over a 4 ft fence. I sadly cannot create protection for the few remaining wallabies and koalas who live in my extensive rainforest.

I would rather see a vicious wild dog fall into comatose and die with the poison bait, than to see the large numbers of wildlife and livestock and pets suffer for hours with half their body eaten while left alive. I am grateful that our Local Land Services is finally dealing with this crisis in our area by activating their wild dog-baiting program.

My research reveals that the wild dog/fox baiting holds minimal harm to our native scavengers. The toxic compound in the 1080 poison exists naturally in 30 species of plants in Australia, and therefore our native scavengers’ digestive systems hold immunity to this natural toxin compound.

The poisoned bait is placed centimetres under the ground where the birds do not find it. The baits are not strong enough to affect the digestive system of a goanna or other native scavengers. This toxin is biodegradable and the amount used is specific only for dogs and foxes, which are foreign predators.

For those of you who are worried about the wellfare of your pet dogs, be aware. The wild dogs won’t hesitate to kill them. Maybe it’s time you also build a night cage for your night roaming pets, for the safety of the environment.


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  1. I feel for you Lois. Feral and semi-domestic feral dogs are a real menace These are not dingoes doing the harm. They hunt for food. The pack dogs are the semi-domestic kind. Owned by people who do not take proper responsibility for their animals and let them out at night. It’s also about bad choices when acquiring a dog. Why would you have a cattle or other herding type dog or even a large dog as a pet? Their instincts are to chase and form packs. Many people are responsible with their animals, bringing them in at night, training them properly, but many are not.
    We have had wallabies dead in our yard here in Main Arm. Chased to death by pack dogs. Small animals found dead in the forrest. It makes me very angry, I have no problems with baiting these animals. Or of farmers shooting them. If people won’t control their dogs they don’t deserve to have them

    • Did I read right? “Owned by people who do not take proper responsibility for their animals ….”
      I agree PeterL, we don’t have a dog problem we have a dog-owner problem. The owners should be jailed.

  2. We spotted a wild dog on our property in Broken Head on the weekend. I wasn’t aware there were so many in the area. My concern is for my 5 year old son. I’ll think twice before taking him for a walk in the bush. The baiting should be stepped up.


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