Ban all Poison Baiting for Dingoes a Cruel Death for any animal

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Victoria wildfires  wiped out many species of wildlife. The misguided destruction of surviving dingo populations by governments, as part of wildlife fire recovery programs, is likely to undermine ecosystem recovery in the medium to longer term and may lead to the local extinction of dingoes in some regions. 

In the aftermath of such extreme and widespread destruction, more caution then ever  must be exercised in regard to non-target impacts of poisons. The use of poisons in these regions will impact non target species such as lizards, starving quoll, birds, earthworms, birds and other carnivorous animals and Victorian Dingoes. 

Spotted Tail Quoll are already listed as Threatened under EPBC Act and the Victorian Dingo is listed as Endangered under Victorian Legislation. Poison baiting whether aerial or ground is irresponsible and must be stopped.

Aerial application of the cruel 1080 poison to kill dingoes (misleadingly referred to in government literature as 'wild dogs') is not an approved use of 1080 in Victoria. In 2011, under pressure from extreme elements within the farming lobby, a compliant Victorian Coalition Government obtained special permission from the Commonwealth under the EPBC Act to aerial bait with 1080 in 6 locations in Gippsland Victoria, with strict Controlling Provisions relating to Threatened Species and Communities pursuant to section 18 and 18A EPBC Act. Permission was initially sought for 1080 aerial baiting in 12 locations within Victoria to kill ‘wild dogs’, despite the dingo having been previously listed as a threatened native species by the Brumby Labor Government under Victorian legislation. However, because of concern over the potential for negative impact upon the Spotted-Tail Quoll, a federally listed threatened species, permission to aerial bait was granted for only six of the requested locations.

Victoria’s Spotted-Tail Quoll population was regarded as fragmented and small. Even a small increase in mortalities, it was feared, may significantly run the risk of local extinctions of the species.   

The Andrews Labor Government must not  continue aerial baiting or ground baiting across Victoria and particularly in the current 6 locations or any additional locations. The Victorian Labor Government must not perpetuate the environmentally reactionary policy of the earlier Coalition government.1080 poisoning is of limited benefit to farmers. In New South Wales the contraversial baiting has already commenced as part of a massive assault on the environment, with claims of protecting "stock" from predation. . 

Environmental Vandalism. Continued aerial baiting with 1080 would be environmentally irresponsible and has had only a very limited benefit to farmers in terms of reduction in stock loss from predation. The main beneficiary from continued aerial baiting would be the poison industry, which is now big business, and its sponsored advocates. Millions of public funds are wasted annually on lethal control of ‘wild dogs’, allegedly to protect farm stock. Yet, actual stock losses are extremely small. For instance, officially reported stock loss from ‘wild dog’ predation in 2016-17 for the whole of Victoria was 995, out of a total Victorian sheep flock of well over 13 million. Further, the locations aerially baited only account for a very small proportion of Victoria’s sheep flock. 

Unforeseen damaging effects of poison.  It now appears likely that aerial baiting with 1080 adds to the extinction pressure upon the Spot Tailed Quoll arising from extensive ground-based 1080 and PAPP baiting foxes across eastern Victoria. The near complete disappearance of the once common Spot Tailed Quoll across Victoria has coincided with the adoption of extensive, ongoing fox baiting. A plausible hypothesis is that the widespread use of poison for fox control has resulted in much reduced fox numbers, which may in turn may have led to an increase in feral cat numbers and greater uninhibited predation by feral cats upon Spotted-Tail Quolls, particularly their young. Competition by cats with Spotted-Tail Quoll for prey may also have had an adverse impact on quoll populations.

We oppose the use of poisons but the increased impact of aerial baiting is incorrigibly irresponsible and must not be allowed to continue and particularly at a time following the recent wildfires.  We support the use of non-lethal measures and oppose the use of  inhumane poison, which includes its intensive delivery through aerial baiting within Victoria,  because it  is reasonably foreseeable that  Dingoes protected under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act Vic and the threatened species Spotted-Tail Quoll will continue to be destroyed as a consequence. 

The claimed benefits to farmers have been consistently exaggerated. Entrenched, antiquated attitudes towards Australian wildlife as “pests” to agriculture must be abandoned and farmers must learn to live responsibly within Victorian ecosystems.  We must continue to lobby for the end of 1080 including opposing the delivery by the massive aerial baiting.

We thank Gary for permission to use his photographs. Photo Credit: Gary Meredith.

#BAN1080 #conservation #protectedspecies #FloraandFaunaGuaranteeAct