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Byron Shire
June 16, 2024

Dog owners

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Two weeks ago I took my six-year-old grandson to Tallow Beach. We were strolling through the ‘no dogs’ area and enjoying the sight of so many terns and gulls, when we came upon a wallaby, leaping about in circles in the whitewash waves. 

I had never witnessed this before and at first we thought it was enjoying itself. It soon became clear that it could not find its way out. It was blind and its hind quarters had been savaged.  

A handful of people there were concerned about its welfare;  WIRES was called. A young dad with a boogie board managed to shepherd it out of the water where it would certainly have died of exhaustion.

Sadly, it was ultimately euthanised, owing to the severe shock and trauma from its injuries and blindness. This blindness is caused by a stress reaction to being attacked and is not reversible.

The WIRES volunteers said dog attacks on birds, wallabies and other wildlife on the beaches and in the adjoining bush are becoming more frequent as dog numbers increase in coastal areas. 

I am not the first to complain, but am wondering if there is a way for the community, visitors, travellers and our young people to become more aware of the serious loss of our native fauna and the importance of responsible dog ownership.  

After witnessing the event, my six-year-old grandson said, ‘When I grow up I’m going to be a wildlife rescuer’.

Perhaps it is time for some united action and creative thinking to put a stop to this slaughter, (also a serious issue on our roads). Happy to be involved in any way that is useful – I am open to suggestions.

Maggie Brown, Byron Bay

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  1. As a dog owner I get pretty p…..d when people let their dogs off or let wander in areas they shouldn’t be. Recently at a nature reserve walking( dog less) and these people, with dogs running free, couldn’t understand my criticism of their behaviour.
    There some great spots to exercise your dogs here off leash but these bloody minded sovereign citizens are going to screw it up for all of us dog owners.


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