Canine pests: Wild dogs, which are a cross between dingoes and domesticated dogs, are becoming a major problem for farmers on the Northern Rivers.
Canine pests: Wild dogs, which are a cross between dingoes and domesticated dogs, are becoming a major problem for farmers on the Northern Rivers.

Killing of wild dogs a warning

A TEVEN Valley farmer who killed three dingo-cross wild dogs that were feeding on the carcass of a calf on Wednesday has appealed for dog owners to be responsible for their domestic pets.

Distressed by the grisly task, the farmer, who asked not to be named, showed the dead animals to The Northern Star in the hope of spreading the word on responsible dog ownership.

“My family has farmed in the Teven Valley for more than 100 years,” he said.

“We’ve been getting a few wild dog attacks for the past two or three years, but they are becoming more regular. They attack and harass stock.

“You are definitely aware that they are around. You hear them howl at the moon.

“People around here just need to be aware that they need to keep their dogs under control so they don’t breed with the dingoes.”

The farmer said he’d had a number of goats and cattle killed by wild dogs and that he was now considering investing in either dog-proof fencing or electrical fencing to keep them out.

The wild dogs he killed legally were a mother and two pups. The farmer has taken samples from them to send to the National Parks and Wildlife Service for DNA testing to ascertain their lineage.

Livestock Health and Pest Authority ranger Neil Hing said the Teven Valley had been the source of some wild dog problems for a while now.

“We’ve had two or three programs down there,” he said.

“There are plenty of corridors for dogs to travel. Macadamia farms and things like that.

“There are also plenty of places for people to dump dogs, which is one of the biggest problems.”

The LHPA has initiated a number of baiting programs around the North Coast this year, including a successful program around the Mullumbimby area.

“You will never fully wipe them out, which is the same for most pests,” Mr Hing said. “But what we are trying to do is limit the damage they cause to property owners.”

Interestingly, besides eating live prey, the wild dogs are also known to eat macadamia nuts, sometimes following harvests around the area.

Mr Hing also warned farmers and those living on the rural fringe to be on the look-out for increased activity during spring, the mating season of the dogs.

He also urged those suffering from dog attacks on their livestock to contact the LHPA, the lead agency in dog control, to help track the movement of wild dog packs and do baiting programs.



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