Interbred dingo a danger

WILD dogs are getting larger and their numbers are increasing rapidly as bigger domestic dogs breed with dingoes and introduce a perennial breeding cycle to a species which traditionally only had one breeding season per year.

Livestock Health and Pest Authority senior ranger Dean Chamberlain said the increased size and number of the animals represented an increased risk to livestock, domestic animals and humans – especially children.

“There’s no doubt that someone’s going to get bitten one day,” he said. “It’s just a matter of time.”

Responding to public claims earlier this week that the LHPA was not doing enough to control feral dogs in the Braunstone area, Mr Chamberlain said the responsibility for the control of feral animals lay with landholders, not the LHPA as was commonly believed.

He said landholders needed to get together and develop strategies to poison and trap feral dogs.

“A landholder acting in isolation has proven to be ineffective,” he said.

“These dogs are capable of moving 5-10km a night – that’s 4000 to 5000 hectares of property.”

He said State Forests officers would set baits and traps in the Bom Bom State Forest in the next few days or “as soon as it was dry enough to access”.

The LHPA can supply 1080 poison baits to landholders free of charge and co-ordinate group baiting programs, as well as provide training for the use of 1080.

A ranger used a soft jawed leg hold trap to catch a dog (pictured) at Coutts Crossing on Saturday.

The dog was the a cross breed of possibly a German shepherd and cattle dog, about two to three years old and weighed 23kg, Mr Chamberlain said.

“This dog is typical of the type we are seeing in the area,” he said.

Asked why the dogs which attacked a small herd of dorper sheep at Braunstone at the weekend did not eat their kill, Mr Chamberlain said this was a characteristic of a more domestic “sport kill attitude”.

“If a dingo was to attack a group of sheep they might kill one or two and eat them, or they might kill a couple more if they were training their young, but they kill to eat, not for sport,” he said.

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