Feral dog bait kills family pet

A WOMAN whose family dog was killed by a bait intended for feral dogs has called for people administering the baits to be put through a training program.

Julie Brus, of Babyl Creek, between Dyraaba and Bonalbo, said her 11-year-old cattle dog, Sasha, died a gruesome death after taking a 1080 bait, or residue from a bait, last Friday.

Ms Brus said the baits had been laid about weeks ago and the people who laid them told her they would have broken down by now.

However, she had since been told by a ranger from the Livestock Health and Pest Authorities the baits would remain active until her area had received 100mm of rain and the meat it had been put in, in the hot dry conditions that area had been experiencing, would have converted to a ‘beef jerky’ instead of rotting away.

Ms Brus said she did not know whether Sasha had taken an old bait, eaten a bird or part of another animal that had taken a bait or merely licked at vomit from an animal that had taken the bait.

Regardless, the result was that the dog she had owned since before moving to the area from Goonellabah years ago and since before her children were born was now dead.

“She was the best friend of the family,” Ms Brus said. “My four-year-old daughter just bawled and bawled.”

Ms Brus said she had only recently started letting her dogs off the chain, which they had been put on to keep them from accidentally taking a bait, in a limited form afterbeing told the baits would have disintegrated.

She suspects Sasha took a weakened bait last Friday when she wandered about 20 metres, but still within sight, into a neighbouring property while Ms Brus milked a cow.

That night, Ms Brus said she heard Sasha, who was then back on the chain, let out a noise somewhere between a bark, a growl and a howl. Ms Brus said she had lost a dog to a bait before and knew immediately what was happening.

“She ran around the paddock for half an hour, she ran into a shed, crashing and banging into things,” she said.

Sasha was barking so loudly and violently Ms Brus had to put the television on loudly so the children, who were asleep, wouldn’t hear her.

“It’s not safe to catch a dog (when it’s taken a bait) because they become violent and aggressive,” she said.

Ms Brus said she wanted people to be more aware generally of the potency of 1080 baits and wanted people given the baits to kill feral dogs, which she agreed were a problem, put through training programs to make sure they knew how to lay the baits properly and when they would be safe again.

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