Take dingoes off the Australian wild-dog, lethal control list & stop council's bounty kill
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The International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has red listed Australia's native dog, the Dingo, as 'vulnerable' to extinction because of interbreeding with domestic dogs which have either become feral or are free-roaming. These feral dogs are breeding with the dingoes diluting their DNA, leading to wild feral hybrid dogs. This crossbreeding is leading to total disruption of the dingoes normal family and hunting behaviours. This combined with lethal control of pure dingoes is causing the dingo packs to break up because often their parents have been killed, leaving vulnerable dingo pups to fend for themselves and learn behaviours from feral domestic dogs or they just fend for themselves. For the dingo pups, this is usually impossible and they often die. Yes dingoes and feral dogs and cross breeds wreak havoc on Australia's sheep and cattle industries. The livestock industry wreaks havoc on the environment. Feral cats, rabbits, goats and wild pigs also wreak havoc on the environment. Without top apex predators such as the dingoes, who keep these numbers down, the Australian environment will continue to deplete at an amazingly fast rate, as will Australia's native wildlife. The Australian Government both protects the dingo through providing conservation parks where the dingo is free to roam, but unfortunately outside of these areas, the dingo is vulnerable to many inhumane and lethal methods of wild-dog control such as 1080 poisoning, steel leg traps, beatings and shooting. The lethal killing of dingoes because they are included as a wild-dog under all lethal control policies, leads to further vulnerability for the dingo and inevitable extinction within 25-50 years (IUCN, 2012). The National Museum Australia has reported that recent research comparing sites in New South Wales with differing degrees of dingo control confirms the relationship between kangaroo numbers and dingo predation. This research showed a reduction in the dingo population resulted in a range of impacts on other species also, and the study concludes that culling dingoes is counterproductive in biodiversity. This may result in increased number of feral cats, rabbits, foxes, and wild pigs.
The RSPCA is not opposed to the use of lethal control methods for pest animals provided that there is justification for such killing and there is no effective, humane non-lethal alternative method available. However, the RSPCA is opposed to any method of control that does not result in a humane death. Current methods of trapping do not meet this requirement, as animals that are caught in traps can suffer greatly for a considerable time before they are finally killed (RSPCA, 2011). The RSPCA further states its view that all toothed steel-jawed leg-hold traps and snares should be banned throughout Australia, as they cause serious physical injury and suffering to trapped animals and this view is supported by the findings of Fleming et al. (1998). 1080 has been used widely in Australia since the 1960s to control invasive animals, particularly foxes and wild dogs. 1080 blocks the major metabolic pathway in the body, starving cells of energy and causes central nervous system failure in carnivores (Australian Pesticides & Veterinary Medicines Authority 2008). This failure can cause howling, disorientation, depression, emesis (vomiting) and convulsions while the animal is unconscious. All jurisdictions have guidelines for using 1080 baits, partly because of concerns about their effects on non-target species, including domestic animals.
This report proposes that dingoes be re-classified as 'native' and taken off the wild-dog list and lethal control list. The dingo is not a dog, it is a unique and separate species (Canis Dingo), its fur is soft similar to other Australian marsupials. Dingoes do not have course hair like many dogs (Canis Familiaris) do. The dingo has been in Australia for more than 5,000, possibly up to 18,000 years and is now vulnerable to extinction through interbreeding with domestic dogs and lethal wild dog control (IUCN). To save the dingo, the government needs to make mandatory laws where people are fined for letting their dogs roam freely at night. Council bounties need be stopped for dingo skins and scalps and people need be fined for harming dingoes unnecessarily, unless the dingoes are actually seen physically killing or harming livestock, then shooting may be allowed. If dingoes are not seen in the act of killing or maiming stock, then they must be left alone. Instead of spending money on lethal control, money needs to go toward alternative support such as guardian dogs, adequate fencing-fencing lambs and calves and education into ecologically supportive farming that supports dingoes, the top Apex predator's biodiversity and the benefits to the environment the dingo actually brings as an apex predator.
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