Wild dogs closing in on urban areas
PACKS of wild dogs are getting perilously close to urban areas, in one case within 2km of the Lismore CBD, a professional trapper and hunter has revealed.
Ballina-based Mark Loosemore, who runs Australia- wide pest control business Feral Pest, has seen a sharp increase in local demand for his services.
Recently Mr Loosemore trapped two dogs less than 2km from Lismore CBD that had torn apart a herd of alpacas, goats and sheep, killing seven or eight.
He cited the recent case of Jeremy Harland of The Channon, who faced a pack of wild dogs in the middle of the night, as not an isolated case.
In some areas around Tyalgum, parents were questioning the safety of their children, even during daylight.
"They can't let their kids ride their bikes up to their neighbour's place," he said.
Mr Loosemore estimated he destroyed about 30 or 40 a year, as well as Indian miner birds, rabbits and even camels.
He said the Livestock Health and Pest Authority was under-resourced to face the worsening job at hand.
West in New England and in Queensland graziers are facing severe impacts on their herds from diseases spread by dogs combined with regular attacks.
He believes the biggest impact here is on native fauna.
One man he spoke with recalled having an abundance of koalas on his property which have now disappeared, most probably due to dogs, not a loss of habitat.
Mr Loosemore cited irresponsible dog ownership as one cause. Some packs of dogs only form at night from existing pets allowed to roam.
But others are completely feral.
He is licensed to shoot wild animals. He said property owners needed to think more about preventative measures.
"Landowners have to know that if they don't do anything, dogs will come, and they will inflict losses," he said.
"If people are a little bit more proactive and talk to their neighbours, they'll realise there are things you can do."