What are your thoughts on the revised policy on the management of wild dogs in South Australia?

We want to hear your feedback on the revised policy on the management of wild dogs in South Australia.

Read the revised Declared Animal Policy (Wild dogs and dingoes), the proposed changes and the Frequently Asked Questions and provide your feedback by commenting below.

Your feedback will be considered by PIRSA, NRM boards, and the Minister for Environment and Water and will inform the development of the final version of the policy.

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Chris Reynolds

05 Apr 2020

I encourage the changes to the Wild Dog Policy 100%.
Having lived and worked on Pastoral stations throughout South Australia over the past 20 years I have seen a increase in Wild dog activity inside the fence partically over the past 10 years. Having seen the devastation that it causes to livestock as well as native animals, it makes you feel helpless and sick watching the trial of destruction left by Wild Dogs. My mates have been through this frustration well before me, and it wasn't until you experience the loss and frustration yourself that you can understand what a grazier is up against. We recently have taken over family property, and have had huge losses from Wild Dogs in recent years. Raising a young family on a station is meant to be a great lifestyle, however the effect of wild dogs can put a lot of pressure on families that live off the land. Anxiety, frustration and financial pressure is not easy to live with. Trapping, baiting and a new dog fence is what SA needs or the whole state will not have a sheep/cattle industry left in the coming years.

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Wild Dog Planning Officer > Chris Reynolds

05 Apr 2020

Hi Chris,

Thank you for sharing your on ground experience and for your descriptions of the social and economic impacts of wild dogs.

Your comments and perspective will be considered during the review of the SA Wild Dog Policy.

Regards
Brad Page
Principal Biosecurity Officer - Pest Animals

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Dianne Nicholson

05 Apr 2020

What other carnivorous species indigenous to Australia will be affected by baiting can the government and farmers guarantee only dingoes will die. We have a large number of bird's of prey in South Australia like wedge tail eagles, osprey, kites, owls and magpies just to name a few then there are snakes and reptiles also how long does it take for the animal to die because poisoning is not instantaneous and is painful to the animal and as for leg traps they should be banned.

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Wild Dog Planning Officer > Dianne Nicholson

05 Apr 2020

Hi Dianne,

Thank you for your feedback. Your comments and perspective will be considered during the review of the SA Wild Dog Policy.

The science on the risks of wild dog baits killing off-target native animals indicates that the native animals you listed in your feedback are at very low risk of death if they consume a wild dog bait. Indeed, most native animals in pastoral South Australia are considered low risk.

The risk to off-target native animals from wild dog baiting is managed under the label for wild dog baits. The label is legal document, which is approved by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority. The APVMA requires that wild dog bait manufacturers demonstrate how off target risks are minimised. The label also requires that land managers lay baits in certain ways, to minimise the risk to off-target animals.

That said, animals such as sheep dogs and foxes would die if they ate a wild dog bait. Pastoralists need to manage risks to their sheep dogs through the use of muzzles (and other ways).

Trapping in South Australia must only use traps with rubber pads to hold the wild dog. Traps do not have "teeth" any more; those traps are illegal in South Australia. The rubber pads have improved welfare outcomes for trapped wild dogs, but both the livestock industry and Government agencies are investing in research to further improve the welfare outcomes of trapped wild dogs.

Regards
Brad Page
Principal Biosecurity Officer - Pest Animals

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Birgitta Selberg

02 Apr 2020

People who don't neuter their dogs should pay a hefty fine. Maybe there won't be so many 'wild' ones then. Same with neutering cats. The problem always stems from humans.

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Wild Dog Planning Officer > Birgitta Selberg

03 Apr 2020

Hi Birgitta,

Thank you for your feedback. Your comments and perspective will be considered during the review of the SA Wild Dog Policy.

The Dog and Cat Management Board recently tightened legislation around the management of domestic dogs and cats.

Regards
Brad Page
Principal Biosecurity Officer - Pest Animals

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Geoffrey and Dianne Mengersen

02 Apr 2020

The changes to the wild dog policy are not only necessary but essential to the survival of SA’s sheep industry.
Having seen first hand the devastation caused by wild dogs, to both the sheep and pastoralists, the changes to the policy can only be for the better.
It is mentally overwhelming to see sheep you have nurtured through trying times e.g drought, with their abdomens ripped open, hamstrung, faces torn off or fly blown from bite wounds, dead or dying after an attack by wild dogs.
Having been working on eradicating dogs on our property for at least the last 15 years it is very disheartening when the wild dogs you do catch are replaced almost immediately by other wild dogs from surrounding properties who are non compliant.
At the moment we feel we are fighting a losing battle. We fear that the future of sheep grazing south of the dog fence is in jeopardy.
The changes to the wild dog policy are a step in the right direction.

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Wild Dog Planning Officer > Geoffrey and Dianne Mengersen

02 Apr 2020

Hi Geoffrey and Dianne,

Thank you for sharing your on ground experience and for your descriptions of the social and economic impacts of wild dogs.

Your comments and perspective will be considered during the review of the SA Wild Dog Policy.

Regards
Brad Page
Principal Biosecurity Officer - Pest Animals

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Marie Duckford

02 Apr 2020

Looks good to me. We need to protect our livestock as much as possible. Not keen on the leg traps, but baiting seems reasonable.

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Wild Dog Planning Officer > Marie Duckford

02 Apr 2020

Hi Marie,

Thank you for your feedback. Your comments and perspective will be considered during the review of the SA Wild Dog Policy.

Baiting is certainly the most effective form of wild dog control across the vast landscapes in South Australia. Trapping is costly and requires a high level of training and skill, and so it is only used to target wild dogs that do not take baits.

Regards
Brad Page
Principal Biosecurity Officer - Pest Animals

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Richard Densley

01 Apr 2020

agree with it all...try to eradicate all feral dogs....

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Wild Dog Planning Officer > Richard Densley

02 Apr 2020

Hi Richard,

Thank you for your feedback. Your comments and perspective will be considered during the review of the SA Wild Dog Policy.

Regards
Brad Page
Principal Biosecurity Officer - Pest Animals

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Kaeli May

01 Apr 2020

The proposed changes to the Declared Animal Policy (wild dogs and dingoes), in my opinion are valid. All avenues to control wild dog populations below the dog fence and within the buffer zone should be applied-including baiting. The dog fence has the potential to be effective in controlling wild dog numbers in the future but unfortunately due to previous damage to the fence and wild dog numbers not being controlled on multiple properties south of the fence, the dogs are now established in these areas. They are living, breeding and killing stock in places they haven’t been seen before. Yes, I live on a pastoral property south of the fence (40km) and we have a serious wild dog problem. So serious that we’ve had as little as 3% total lamb survival rate in recent times. So serious that just last week we discovered 10 mauled to death sheep in a 1 square km area (killing to eat?! I know this is not the case!). So serious that we currently have 15 traps set at present. Can you imagine driving out to your paddocks, in some cases a 5+ hour round trip, hoping that you a)don’t see any sign of wild dog activity or, b) have been lucky enough to catch the killer, only to discover more mauled/dead/slowly dying sheep a few kms from where they last killed or where your traps are set? It is agonisingly distressing and overwhelmingly disheartening. With so many neighbouring properties not controlling wild dogs- we welcome these changes with open arms. To own or manage a pastoral lease or land you should be made accountable for pest control. Wild dogs are a pest- and a savage, livelihood ruining one at that. If you don’t see a future with compulsory baiting below the fence then you must not see a future for sheep farming in Australia. And that’s sad for a country that once rode on a sheep’s back.

Marie Duckford > Kaeli May

02 Apr 2020

Well said Kaeli. I wonder how many of the negative comments are coming from people living in cities with no idea of the impact these animals are having on those who live on the land and actually have to deal with the consequences of inadequate dog control on a day to day basis.

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Wild Dog Planning Officer > Kaeli May

02 Apr 2020

Hi Kaeli,

Thank you for sharing your on ground experience and for your descriptions of the social and economic impacts of wild dogs.

Your comments and perspective will be considered during the review of the SA Wild Dog Policy.

Regards
Brad Page
Principal Biosecurity Officer - Pest Animals

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Marilyn Nuske

22 Mar 2020

To my mind the focus must be on why are we using a schedule 7 poison in the environment. I need to see evidence on stock loss, not hearsay, evidence over years about pre and post poisoning on stock loss and feral dog populations. The rationale used for 70 years is thread bare and we, the public, are in fact not convo fed there is even a need for poison 1080. If what we are told, largely hearsay evidence, is true, then it isn't working anyway. But, I have serious concerns about the hearsay evidence being bandied around. Nor are issues like other native wildlife being destroyed such as carnivorous wildlife, birds, quoll, quoll.

Marilyn Nuske > Marilyn Nuske

22 Mar 2020

8th line should say "convinced"

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Wild Dog Planning Officer > Marilyn Nuske

25 Mar 2020

Good afternoon

Thank you for your suggestions and comments to assist with wild dog management to sustain the livestock industry in SA. They will be considered during the review of the SA Wild Dog Policy.

The policy acknowledges that dingoes are considered an Australian native animal, having been introduced about 3500 years ago.

Unfortunately, many dingoes and other types of wild dogs are living and breeding in the pastoral country inside the SA Dog Fence. We acknowledge that many dingoes are killed in control programs. Dingoes and other types of wild dogs cannot coexist with a viable sheep industry.

The legislation is clear in South Australia; wild dogs are defined as wild-living dogs, including dingoes, domestic dogs living at large and their hybrids. It would be a misnomer if we were to describe all wild dogs as dingoes, because so many wild dogs are hybrids, or pure bred domestic dogs gone wild, including staffies, fox terriers, wolf hounds, kelpies and cattle dogs. Most importantly, all wild living dogs damage and kill livestock in the same way.

It is both irrelevant and impossible for people controlling wild dogs to determine whether a wild dog is a purebred dingo or a hybrid.

Regards
Brad Page
Principal Biosecurity Officer - Pest Animals

Marilyn Nuske > Marilyn Nuske

25 Mar 2020

You have not addressed my post at all, I call upon you to produce stock loss data. 1080 is destroying our native apex land predator and because some claim to be unable to identify between a dingo and a feral dog, 1080 poison SHOULD not be used. Most canine are dingoes, performing the role of dingoes, the percentages have been proven with recent research.

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Wild Dog Planning Officer > Marilyn Nuske

25 Mar 2020

Good afternoon again Marilyn

Apologies for the confusion this may have caused with my detailed response. I was trying to address your 6 posts, some of which are below.

Sheep impacts and wild dog sightings are reported directly by pastoralists, with some of this information available via Wild Dog Scan. Some producers do not make the information publicly available, which is a feature of Wild Dog Scan.

South Australia has large dingo populations outside the Dog Fence, where dingoes are valued by pastoralists and the broader community.

As I acknowledged above, many dingoes are killed in control programs outside and inside the Dog Fence, where legislation classifies them and other wild living dogs as wild dogs. Dingoes cannot coexist with a viable sheep industry inside the Dog Fence.

The SA Dog Fence, and the rebuild of it, is likely to help to maintain the purity of dingoes outside of the SA Dog Fence. The Dog Fence is the most important barrier protecting the South Australian sheep industry. It is also a critical barrier preventing introgression from domestic dogs into dingoes. Such pressures are thought to be threatening dingo purity in some parts of Australia.

Not all pastoralists outside the fence regularly bait and some do not bait at all, with management being both tailored to the needs of individual properties and focused when dingo prey declines at onset of dry periods. Excessive impacts to cattle are what forces some pastoralists outside the fence to invest their time and money into baiting. Such investments are business decisions, which take into account the ecological benefits provided by dingoes.

Thank you for your interest in the wild dog policy in South Australia.

Regards
Brad Page
Principal Biosecurity Officer - Pest Animals

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Gerard Lessels

19 Mar 2020

Great to see thaat the dog fence is getting upgraded. I fail to see how on one side of the fence the dingo is a pest and the other side of the fence it is a native. This arguement supported by two separate Acts just adds to the confusion by the public and unfortunately the disbeleif from the rest of the world who seem to be able to manage these very same issues to varing degrees of success. I also fail to see how decisions are made on the basis of hearsay instead of scientific proof, as where is the proof that 10,000 sheep were lost from dingoes in 2018. Especially when we have just experienced and in many areas still experiencing a 4 year drought where significant numbers of sheep and cattle have been lost from the effecs of this drought and in varied numbers of incidents lost through questionable management decisions. Your review of the policy states that above the fence dingoes have a cultural role and ecological role to play. Please stop using culture as a diversion tactic as it is embarrassing to aboriginal people throughout Australia and an absolute shame job for the rest of Australia that have a conscience.Please provide me with the namess of all the Aboriginal Organisations/ groups/ Corporations that you have consulted on the cultural significance of the dingo. If you chose to manage the dingo on the top side of the fence as an ecological issue then why is it that you are still whole sale baiting in that area. Your buffer zone should be on the inside of the fence and the responsibility of those land owners, stop hedging your betts as again it shows that you are not transparant in your processs. Why is it that they can do this with the tick issue in NSW/QLD. Your documents also need to have a defined topic of discussion as you need to separate dingoes from wild dogs as this has been a common theme within your documentation as dingoes are not wild dogs so again for transparancey stop the merging description to hedge you betts. When are you going to implement stronger domestic dog ownership laws to support the control of wild dogs eg: Higher penalities for the dumping of dogs, manadatory spaying and castration of all non pure bred species aand even then only dogs that are used in a stud breeding program should remain entire. The entire baiting of Dingoes is based on a bias story from pastoralists that have zero consideration for anyother land holding entities. They are not required to provide pre baiting evidence of dingo or dog activity nor are they required to provide any post baiting evidence of dingo or dog activity. They are also never responsible for the reporting of any non target species deaths due to the 1080 program even though it is supposedly mandatory under the baiting program conditions. The mandatory baiting that you are wanting to implement is nothing short of a legal form of bullying. We are ressponsible for running an IPA in the Flinders Rangers and our biggest treat to the ecosystem is the feral goats which 30 years ago there were major calls for their control and eradication. This never happened because the then problem turned into a money make sourcefor pastoralists which required no managerial or financial input, hence the problem of feral goats has had a catastrophic impact on the ecosystem. We have a small number of the Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby populations which the dingoes have zero impact on, as a matter of fact they are beneficial to these populations as they have a majr impact on the fox and cat populations in these areas. The fox and cat has a devestating impact on these populations as well as many other small mammals, reptiles and birds through predation and disease. The massive volumes of tax payer money that is put into the preservation of our Flora and Fauna each year is massively undermined by the dog baiting program which is also very heavily supported by the tax payer of South Australia. This pinch and grab process must stop as it is rediculous, this is the reason why it is never explained to the tax payer as there would be a masssive outcry against it. My suggesstion would be to talk a logical stance that would support a system of user pays where individual land holders that wish to bait then they can and they pay for that service, and those land holders that do not wish to bait have that right as well. As if the incredibly high numbers of livestock that are lost to dingoes and wild dogs is correct then it would be a financially and managerially sound decision for them to bait. We have a financial and managerial obligation to SA and the whole of Australian public not to bait.

Marilyn Nuske > Gerard Lessels

22 Mar 2020

What is missing from the dialogue is evidence on claims of sheep loss so we are at liberty to challenge those clearly inflated numbers.
Current Legislation allows property owners to retain the quiet use and enjoyment of their land, free from the imposition of a schedule 7 poison, and should remain so.
The alternative is what i interpret as loss of a civil liberty. A basic freedom is under threat. And why? Good question to ponder, is it stock loss? If so produce certified numbers, explain how calculated, areas where numbers drawn from.

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Wild Dog Planning Officer > Gerard Lessels

25 Mar 2020

Good afternoon Gerard

Thank you for your suggestions and comments to assist with wild dog management to sustain the livestock industry in SA. They will be considered during the review of the SA Wild Dog Policy.

The National Parks and Wildlife Act classifies dingoes as a native animal outside the SA Dog Fence. The Landscapes SA Act (and formerly the NRM Act) classifies wild living dogs as declared pests inside the SA Dog Fence. I understand that this creates confusion, as is the case when Councils have different laws for managing things like cats or dogs. One of the benefits of this forum is that we can answer your questions to address these issues.

Sheep impacts and wild dog sightings are reported directly by pastoralists, with some of this information available via Wild Dog Scan. Some producers do not make the information they submit publicly available, which is a feature of Wild Dog Scan.

I apologise that acknowledging the cultural importance of dingoes is offensive. We consulted with all NRM boards during the review of the policy and with the SA Wild Dog Advisory Group. All of these groups have representatives of Aboriginal groups.

Not all pastoralists outside the fence regularly bait, with management being both tailored to the needs of individual properties and focused when dingo prey declines at onset of dry periods. Excessive impacts to cattle are what forces some pastoralists outside the fence to invest their time and money into baiting. Such investments are business decisions, which take into account the ecological benefits provided by dingoes.

The buffer zone is in place to reduce the number of dingo incursions through the SA Dog Fence and into areas used for sheep production. Inside the SA Dog Fence, most producers stock sheep right up against the fence, and so they do act as a buffer for the rest of South Australia.

The Dog and Cat Management Board has recently tightened legislation around the management of domestic dogs, and the Animal Welfare legislation could likely impose severe penalties on people who mistreat domestic dogs in the way your outlined.

Pastoralists are making business decisions when they undertake baiting. Baiting costs them money and time. They would much rather not bait wild dogs, but levels of wild dog impacts require that they do. There would not be a sheep industry in South Australia if pastoralists did not control wild dogs. Both QLD and much of WA lost most of their sheep industries as a result of wild dog impacts.

Recent results from the government/industry trapper program highlights the impact when some properties do not adequately control wild dogs. One trapper removed more 20 dogs from each of 5 properties during about 10 days work on each property. On one property, more than 30 wild dogs were removed in 10 days. On another property, more than 50 wild dogs were removed from a single location. Some of these properties have been undertaking some forms of control, but if there are that many wild dogs on a single property, then such properties would be regarded by many as as safe havens, where wild dogs are breeding in large numbers, and from which they are likely migrating and impacting neighbouring sheep producers. In cases such as these, landscape scale control of wild dogs is required to neighbouring producers.

Goats are another divisive pest animal from a policy perspective. The current policy requires that landholders control feral goats, to ensure that their impacts on native pastures are minimal. Interestingly, some people would prefer that our legislation refer to them as "rangeland goats".

I note your suggestion of a system of user pays where individual land holders that wish to bait then they can. For pest animals such as wild dogs, this would not work because they do not respect property boundaries. As I said, we need to ensure that wild dog control is undertaken across all properties, because inadequate control is creating safe havens for wild dogs, from which they are likely migrating and impacting neighbours.

Regards
Brad Page
Principal Biosecurity Officer - Pest Animals

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Stephanie Williams

17 Mar 2020

Absolutely fantastic that the resources are going to be put into replacing the dog fence. This is the most logical and effective means of maintaining low numbers of wild dogs once populations inside the fence are adequately reduced. The implementation of the policy should include some assurance that there will be on-going funding for the maintenance of the fence.

The policy goes into detail about the different standards for baiting in each of the policy's regions and opens up the possibility of aerial baiting outside the dog fence. It does not, however, justify the rationale for these changes other than the goal of virtual eradication of wild dogs inside the fence. The policy would benefit from a short statement that describes the scientific basis for these changes in baiting densities. This would highlight the justification for change and also help to reduce concern about unintended consequences of the changes. In addition, the SAAL NR wild dog management plan set out what seemed to be a logical approach to bating inside and outside the dog fence. If this hasn't been working, it would be good to highlight that these changes are addressing this.

The triggers for baiting in different regions are principally based on "evidence of wild dog activity". Given that this part of the policy is so detailed and is an important part of the implementation process, it would be beneficial in its implementation that examples of what comprises evidence is provided so that the triggers are clear.

The bait densities mandated in the policy are quite high in some regions of the state. The density and frequency of mandated baiting doesn't seem to take into consideration the risks of wild dogs becoming bait shy or of the risk to working dogs and pet dogs should wild dogs cache baits or of the uptake and movement of baits by birds outside of baited areas. There also does not seem to be any protocol for not laying baits within a certain distance of towns and homesteads to reduce off-target impacts (unless this is to be included in another document). The policy (or the procedures sitting beneath it) should also mandate the need to inform neighbours when baiting is undertaken and to post notices so the general public understands when and where ground or aerial baiting is undertaken to avoid off-target impacts.

I think aerial baiting outside the dog fence is fraught and will make it very difficult to achieve the outcome "to maintain the ecological role of wild dogs outside the dog fence". If the aim is to control wild dogs only when and where they are impacting on cattle outside the dog fence, then it seems that aerial baiting is only appropriate (if at all) in the 35 km zone adjacent to the fence. John Read's comments highlight some of the reasons for reconsidering non-targeted baiting outside the dog fence.

The policy's objectives could align more directly to the outcomes to help clarify the measures likely to be used to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the policy.

The review section of the policy has four points for evaluation. This section could state, at least in the early stages of implementation, how often the policy will be reviewed. In the early stages of its implementation it is important that effectiveness is appropriately measured and any unintended consequences are rectified in a timely manner. I understand how complicated and costly monitoring and evaluation programs can be and that it is important that they are practical as well as insightful. It is, however, critical to understand before the policy is finalised how each of these points for evaluation will be measured. Some of these evaluation points are very broad and all could perhaps be described in a more measurable manner to facilitate the development of a monitoring and evaluation program. All the evaluation points are important but last two points are critical and likely to be difficult to measure.

Marilyn Nuske > Stephanie Williams

22 Mar 2020

We need a reason to bait, so far I am unconvinced it exists. Also, few feral dogs, destroying Dingoes our apex land predator is no answer.

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Wild Dog Planning Officer > Stephanie Williams

27 Mar 2020

Hi Stephanie

Thank you for your suggestions and comments to assist with wild dog management to sustain the livestock industry in SA. They will be considered during the review of the SA Wild Dog Policy.

The sheep industry in South Australia would not exist without the Dog Fence. It is a vital barrier, which ensures the $1.5 billion sheep industry can continue to support the SA economy. The rebuild of the Dog Fence is an exciting project. The pictures we recently put on the PIRSA website show the degraded state of the Dog Fence, and just how dry the country is in pastoral SA https://www.pir.sa.gov.au/biosecurity/weeds_and_pest_animals/animal_pests_in_south_australia/established_pest_animals/wild_dogs/dog_fence

The Dog Fence Act covers the funding for the maintenance of the fence. This Wild Dog policy sits under the Landscapes SA Act (formerly the NRM Act), so the policy will not specifically deal with the ongoing maintenance of the fence. The Dog Fence Board will tackle the on-going funding for the maintenance of the fence.

Pastoralists are making business decisions when they undertake baiting. Baiting costs them money and time. They would much rather not bait wild dogs, but levels of wild dog impacts require that they do. There would not be a sheep industry in South Australia if pastoralists did not control wild dogs. Both QLD and much of WA lost most of their sheep industries as a result of wild dog impacts.

Recent results from the government/industry trapper program highlight what happens when just a few properties inside the Dog Fence are not doing adequate wild dog control. For example, one trapper removed more 20 dogs from each of 5 properties during about 10 days work on each property. On one of those properties, more than 30 wild dogs were removed in 10 days. On another property, more than 50 wild dogs were removed from a single location. Some of these properties have been undertaking some dog control, but if there are that many on a single property (and the trapper would not have got all of them), then such properties would be regarded by many as as safe havens, where wild dogs are breeding in large numbers, and from which they are likely migrating and impacting neighbouring sheep producers. In cases such as these, landscape scale control of wild dogs is required to neighbouring producers.

The policy doesn't actually propose a change to baiting densities. The policy adopts the densities outlined in the SA Arid Lands NRM Board's Best Practice Guidelines for wild dog control (available on their website). The change being proposed in this policy is that baiting to the densities outlined is required by all land managers in the areas defined in the policy. For most producers, these changes will not have any impact, because they are already baiting to the proposed levels, but for some land managers, the changes will require that they bait wild dogs to the required standard. Baiting is a very effective and efficient way to control dogs, but to ensure that wild dogs do not persist in safe havens, baiting must be done at a landscape scale.

Regarding triggers for baiting - most of the baiting required will not be triggered. The policy proposes proactive and regular baiting to minimise incursions, and to destroy dogs already inside the Dog Fence and any that make it through the rebuilt Dog Fence.

Inside the Dog Fence, for example in the pastoral unincorporated area, the policy proposes that all land managers bait to a certain density regardless of whether or not they see signs of wild dogs (1 bait per km of all vehicle tracks). If there is evidence of wild dogs, the density goes to 5 baits per km of all vehicle tracks within 10 km of the evidence.

As I indicated above, these changes will not result in any change to wild dog control programs for most producers,

The concept of a bait shy dog is contentious. Some people believe that if a dog eats a sub-lethal bait (eg a fox bait) there is a chance that it will be shy next time it finds a bait. Other people believe that such opportunities for dogs to "learn" the risks posed by a bait are minimal. Some people believe that the human smell associated with baits means that some wild dogs avoid eating the baits. The science is not clear on whether by shyness or bait aversion is a significant problem, but the science is clear that landscape scale baiting is a very effective eway to control wild dogs.

Risks to working dogs and pets are very real, and the 1080 label (a legal document, available at https://www.pir.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0013/232123/1080_Bait_for_the_Control_of_Wild_Dogs_Label_April_2011.pdf) requires that producers follow strict instructions to minimise the risks posed to all off target animals. The label also has mandatory instructions covering required distances to towns and homesteads, as well as neighbour notification requirements and more to reduce off-target impacts.

Not all pastoralists outside the fence regularly bait, with management being both tailored to the needs of individual properties and focused when dingo prey declines at onset of dry periods. Excessive impacts to cattle are what forces some pastoralists outside the fence to invest their time and money into baiting. Such baiting is not done to reduce the risk of dingo incursions through the Dog Fence, but to protect cattle.

The buffer zone is in place to reduce the number of dingo incursions through the SA Dog Fence and into areas used for sheep production. Inside the SA Dog Fence, most producers stock sheep right up against the fence, and so their control programs do act as a buffer for the rest of South Australia.Producers along the fence are obviously impacted more than producers further south, which is an example of a market failure, because producers further south are benefiting from the wild dog control done by producers close to the fence.

Good points regarding the policy evaluation. The policy objectives will be the central parts of the evaluation of the effectiveness of the policy, an these can be effectively measured 1) No incursions through the rebuilt Dog Fence, 2) Eradicate dogs inside the Dog Fence, but note that some incursions will happen, for example when flash floods damage the Dog Fence, 3) Appropriately support cattle producers when they require support with their wild dog control.

Thank you again for your considered feedback.

Regards
Brad Page
Principal Biosecurity Officer - Pest Animals

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Michelle Fischer

17 Mar 2020

JP Our native Dingo is under threat of existence, and with it the nations native ecological balance.
Current laws, classifications and practices need to be changed across ALL states.
The first step that needs to be taken is appropriate classification, which keeps on being changed.
The Dingo should be identified as an individual species that it is, that being Canis Dingo and not within the same classification as the common dog (Canis Familiaris).
These scientific classifications are research based and have been published in scientific journals.
The common reference and association of a Dingo as a 'wild dog' should cease, as it only serves to foster poor attitudes and harbor old mindsets aimed at its destruction.
The Dingo must be afforded full country wide protection.
It should be referred back to Canis Dingo.

•Update species classification by name to match recent science (Canis Dingo).
•Removal of pest/noxious animal classification across the country.
•Full in statement as a native mammal under the National Parks and Wildlife Act with associated protection.
•More research and support for existing studies into the Dingoes current situation and extinction threat (one university study indicates 20 years).
•Better acknowledgement of the important roll the Dingo places both in the natural ecology and with introduced pests.
•Government involvement in projects involving Dingoes on farms and using these positive findings and research to spread knowledge, and methods across the country.
•Research and funding into better farming methods and management that doesn’t simply involve killing native wildlife for profit but involves modern science and research.
•The banning of 1080 baiting and other inhumane control methods such as trapping, especially steel jaw trapping.
Currently steel-jaw trapping is banned in the ACT and NSW, although it is still widely used in other states.

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Wild Dog Planning Officer > Michelle Fischer

17 Mar 2020

Good morning

Thank you for your suggestions and comments to assist with wild dog management to sustain the livestock industry in SA. They will be considered during the review of the SA Wild Dog Policy.

The policy acknowledges that dingoes are considered native , having been introduced to Australia about 3500 years ago.

South Australian legislation defines wild dogs as wild-living dogs, including dingoes, domestic dogs living at large and their hybrids. It would be a misnomer if we were to describe all wild dogs as dingoes, because so many wild dogs are hybrids, or pure bred domestic dogs gone wild, including staffies, fox terriers, wolf hounds, kelpies and cattle dogs. All wild living dogs, including dingoes and their hybrids, damage and kill livestock in the same way. It is both irrelevant and impossible for people controlling wild dogs to determine whether a wild dog is a purebred dingo or a hybrid.

It is widely acknowledged, even by leading academics, that populations of wild dogs (dingoes, hybrids and escaped domestic dogs) cannot coexist in the inside the Dog Fence together with a viable sheep industry.

Nobody takes pleasure from killing pest animals such as wild dogs. Such control programs are extremely costly and time consuming, and are only undertaken to protect the viability of livestock industries.

Steel-jaw trapping has not been permitted in South Australia for many years. In South Australia, trapping is only undertaken using soft-jaw traps; the same types that are used by dingo researchers who want to put tracking collars on dingoes.

Regards
Brad Page
Principal Biosecurity Officer - Pest Animals

Lyn Watson > Michelle Fischer

19 Mar 2020

Dear Brad Page,

It appears that there is some cultural mind set operating in your office on this issue, which does not accord with the public sentiment regarding dingoes. See Weekly times now recent voteline on the sunject which clrearly showed that 93% of readers were against poison baiting of wild dogs, including Canis dingo.

It is, in actual fact, widely evidenced and peer reviewed by more leading academics and practicing successful farmers that it is quite possible for dingoes or whatever your legislation deems them, (but not domestic dogs which are the responsibility of specific owners) can profitably co-exist alongside properly husbanded grazing enterprises and the use of non lethal deterrents are cheaper and totally reliable. There is a growing list of farmers who will stand up and be counted in line with this. (See Wooleen, Burraduc, Evelyn Downs etc. etc.).
It is also fact that wild dingoes lack the metabolic ability to digest fat, so are averse to and do not like to eat sheep meat.
A further fact is that an adult dingo requires only 500 grams of food per day, and will not waste energy or risk life on large introduced northern hemisphere prey species. It is evidenced that dingoes eat small rodents, birds, lizards and even crickets in preference to farmed meat. The facts are proven.

The true figures for sheep losses to predators are insignificant when compared to the unjustified expenditure on killing biodiversity. I urge you to look at them, without your own salaries, and all the peripheral expenses included, but you are probably already aware of that.
The markets of the future and those who will buy the end products now are demanding sustainable, biodiversity friendly farmed products.
This is your opportunity to move into the new ere and re-route the funding going to ancient destructive methods that are proven not to, and put them towards development of non lethal methods. There are many such, just crying out for some injection of developmental funds.
Inside farm fences, let the farmer decide, protect via proper fences or whatever means, and face the market, outside or on any public lands, let the public have a real say. The biodiversity belongs to all.

As an unashamed dingo advocate and President of the Australian Dingo Foundation, I do urge you to look at real evidence, and not just that provided by those who must admit to funding from poisons manufacturers for their opinions.

Lyn Watson.

Marilyn Nuske > Michelle Fischer

22 Mar 2020

Well said Lyn Watson, we must have full and frank disclosure on sheep lost to predation. Disclosure on feral dog populations before and after poisons are laid. Inadequate information does not give confidence in a broken system that has been in place for 70 years.

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Zoe Daly

16 Mar 2020

Dingoes are native animals and as such should not be harmed.
Any impact they are having on landowners should be managed in a non lethal manner, to protect the ecosystem of this country. They were here first, before anyone settled on their land, and eradicating them on the basis of animal agriculture is in particular unacceptable, as this industry as a whole is entirely unnecessary and cruel to the animals farmed, as well as resulting in higher risk of the top causes of death in humans, from eating animal derived protein.
The native animals of this country need to be respected and protected, not killed for convenience and human greed.

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Wild Dog Planning Officer > Zoe Daly

16 Mar 2020

Good afternoon

Thank you for your suggestions and comments to assist with wild dog management to sustain the livestock industry in SA. They will be considered during the review of the SA Wild Dog Policy.

Regards
Brad Page
Principal Biosecurity Officer - Pest Animals

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Dylan Bennett

16 Mar 2020

Stop ignoring the fact the dingo is a native species. They are crucial to our ecosystem. Our only apex predator. Sheep farmers can explore other avenues, cattle farmers can have cattle coexist with dingo. They kill feral cats foxes and rabbits, they do so much for flora and fauna management, and they’re crucial to understanding canine genetics, a missing link between dog and wolf, thousands of years of atavism. Give us a venue for live debate

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Wild Dog Planning Officer > Dylan Bennett

16 Mar 2020

Good afternoon

Thank you for your suggestions and comments to assist with wild dog management to sustain the livestock industry in SA. They will be considered during the review of the SA Wild Dog Policy.

The policy acknowledges that dingoes are a native species, having been introduced to Australia about 3500 years ago.

It is widely acknowledged, even by leading academics, that populations of wild dogs (dingoes, hybrids and escaped domestic dogs) cannot coexist in the inside the Dog Fence together with a viable sheep industry.

Regards
Brad Page
Principal Biosecurity Officer - Pest Animals

Marilyn Nuske > Dylan Bennett

22 Mar 2020

We need numbers, evidence on sheep losses over a number of years from the relevant authority. Failing which we have hearsay, and not a basis upon which to change any Legislation.

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Jan Forbes

15 Mar 2020

Recent genetic research indicates that the vast majority of 'wild dogs' are pure or high content dingoes and should be considered a native species and accorded protection. Science indicates that dingoes are an important apex predator and rather than attempting to eradicate them (with subsequent impacts of baiting on non-target species) there is a strong need to conserve dingoes (and their ecological function). There are options for graziers to protect livestock by non-lethal alternative methods such as predator exclusion fencing, guardian animals, etc. and the SA Govt should be subsidising these initiates rather than forcing landholders to lay poison baits, the use of which should ultimately be nominated as a key threatening process under the EPBC Act.
It is clear from the majority of submissions to date that there is little support for the proposed policy. The proposed policy revisions will come at very high cost economically and environmentally, calling into question the political motivation behind the proposal. In light of recent bushfire impacts across eastern australia and the current world-wide climate and extinction crisis, the proposed policy is at best amoral and will only serve to further exacerbate the Australian State and Cwth Government's very poor record in biodiversity conservation. I strongly reiterate comments already made by Mel Browning, David Read, Katherine Moseby, David Pollock and Justine Philip and urge the SA Government to abandon this proposal.

Government Agency

Wild Dog Planning Officer > Jan Forbes

16 Mar 2020

Good afternoon

Thank you for your suggestions and comments to assist with wild dog management to sustain the livestock industry in SA. They will be considered during the review of the SA Wild Dog Policy.

The policy acknowledges that dingoes are a native species, having been introduced to Australia about 3500 years ago.

It is widely acknowledged, even by leading academics, that populations of wild dogs (dingoes, hybrids and escaped domestic dogs) cannot coexist in the inside the Dog Fence together with a viable sheep industry.

The rebuild of the South Australian Dog Fence, which is planned to be complete in 2024, will improve the productivity of the sheep industry and reduce its reliance on lethal control techniques.

This online forum is a great place for a public discussion of these issues. Many people also choose to respond privately, by email or in writing.

Regards
Brad Page
Principal Biosecurity Officer - Pest Animals

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Aaron Mortimer

15 Mar 2020

Dingoes not Wild dogs..
A native animal crucial for maintaining an ecological balance that deserves the same level of protection as offered to other species.
Livestock/Predator conflict is an issue faced in virtually every country on the planet and there are effective non lethal alternatives to protecting stock.

Government Agency

Wild Dog Planning Officer > Aaron Mortimer

16 Mar 2020

Good afternoon

Thank you for your suggestions and comments to assist with wild dog management to sustain the livestock industry in SA. They will be considered during the review of the SA Wild Dog Policy.

The policy acknowledges that dingoes are a native species, having been introduced to Australia about 3500 years ago.

It is widely acknowledged, even by leading academics, that populations of wild dogs (dingoes, hybrids and escaped domestic dogs) cannot coexist in the inside the Dog Fence together with a viable sheep industry.

Regards
Brad Page
Principal Biosecurity Officer - Pest Animals

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Caitlyn Brightmon

15 Mar 2020

Firstly, Dingo is an iconic totem to First Nations all over Australia, featuring in Dreamtime stories of Creation. Eradicating them is destroying another part of their heritage.
We know from research, scientists and environmentalists, as well as indigenous communities that Dingoes are an important apex predator and rather than eradicating them we should be exploring ways to coexist - with the need to protect livestock. There are many non-lethal alternatives to protect livestock that have been proven. It's also a proven fact that 1080 baits don't just affect target animals, many other native species suffer an agonizing death from secondary feeding and taking baits- goannas/quolls/raptors and marsupial rats for example.

Please ensure the dingo has a future as Australia's native animals deserve to be protected. this is the priority. Funds can be implemented to conserve/ reimburse stock losses and other non lethal means. We can co exist.

Government Agency

Wild Dog Planning Officer > Caitlyn Brightmon

16 Mar 2020

Good afternoon

Thank you for your suggestions and comments to assist with wild dog management to sustain the livestock industry in SA. They will be considered during the review of the SA Wild Dog Policy.

The policy acknowledges that dingoes are a native species, having been introduced to Australia about 3500 years ago. Outside the Dog Fence, dingoes are managed as native animals, which perform ecological roles and are valued as an iconic totem by Aboriginal people.

It is widely acknowledged, even by leading academics, that populations of wild dogs (dingoes, hybrids and escaped domestic dogs) cannot coexist in the inside the Dog Fence together with a viable sheep industry.

PIRSA, SA Murray Darling NRM Board and the Eyre Pensinsula NRM Board recently funded several workshops with livestock producers, conservationists and Australia’s leading maremma advocates and researchers. The workshops highlighted that maremmas are being used in some small livestock farms, but all of the presenters highlighted that maremmas are not a viable, nor cost effective solution for wild dog management on vast pastoral stations such as those in South Australia. Most importantly, maremma’s do not help landholders to meet their wild dog control obligations.

Regards
Brad Page
Principal Biosecurity Officer - Pest Animals

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Julie Collins

14 Mar 2020

We know from research, scientists and environmentalists, as well as indigenous communities that Dingoes are an important apex predator and rather than eradicating them we should be exploring ways to coexist - with the need to protect livestock. There are many non-lethal alternatives to protect livestock! It's also a proven fact that 1080 baits don't just affect target animals, many other native species suffer an agonizing death from secondary feeding.

Please ensure the dingo has a future as Australia's native animals deserve to be protected. this is the priority!🐾🐾

Government Agency

Wild Dog Planning Officer > Julie Collins

16 Mar 2020

Good afternoon

Thank you for your suggestions and comments to assist with wild dog management to sustain the livestock industry in SA. They will be considered during the review of the SA Wild Dog Policy.

The policy acknowledges that dingoes are a native species, having been introduced to Australia about 3500 years ago. Outside the Dog Fence, dingoes are managed as native animals, which perform ecological roles and are valued as an iconic totem by Aboriginal people.

It is widely acknowledged, even by leading academics, that populations of wild dogs (dingoes, hybrids and escaped domestic dogs) cannot coexist in the inside the Dog Fence together with a viable sheep industry.

PIRSA, SA Murray Darling NRM Board and the Eyre Pensinsula NRM Board recently funded several workshops with livestock producers, conservationists and Australia’s leading maremma advocates and researchers. The workshops highlighted that maremmas are being used in some small livestock farms, but all of the presenters highlighted that maremmas are not a viable, nor cost effective solution for wild dog management on vast pastoral stations such as those in South Australia. Most importantly, maremma’s do not help landholders to meet their wild dog control obligations.

Research indicates that secondary feeding on poisoned wild dogs is a very low risk to Australia's native animals.

Regards
Brad Page
Principal Biosecurity Officer - Pest Animals

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DIANA WHIMP

14 Mar 2020

Firstly the animals that are being targeted are not wild dogs they are Dingoes. Dingoes are not an man introduced pest even if they were brought in by Asian seafarers And there is doubt about this.
They have evolved with the rest of the the Australian environment to form a balanced and stable system. If you destroy the Dingoes apart from destroying a unique animal you are destroying the rest of the native fauna and flora.
Along with other predators such as coyotes and wolves people have feared them ,and vilified. In my opinion they are not as bad as they have been made out. I would like to see farmers encouraged to take other measures to protect their stock. Maybe use of guard dogs. I realize its human nature to resist change. But maybe if they could see the benefits, would possibly be cheaper and lead to much less stock loses and protect the Dingo which may be of great benefit to the environment and possibly tourism.

Government Agency

Wild Dog Planning Officer > DIANA WHIMP

16 Mar 2020

Good afternoon

Thank you for your suggestions and comments to assist with wild dog management to sustain the livestock industry in SA. They will be considered during the review of the SA Wild Dog Policy.

The policy acknowledges that dingoes are a native species, having been introduced to Australia about 3500 years ago. Outside the Dog Fence, dingoes are managed as native animals, which perform ecological roles and are valued as an iconic totem by Aboriginal people.

It is widely acknowledged, even by leading academics, that populations of wild dogs (dingoes, hybrids and escaped domestic dogs) cannot coexist in the inside the Dog Fence together with a viable sheep industry.

PIRSA, SA Murray Darling NRM Board and the Eyre Pensinsula NRM Board recently funded several workshops with livestock producers, conservationists and Australia’s leading maremma advocates and researchers. The workshops highlighted that maremmas are being used in some small livestock farms, but all of the presenters highlighted that maremmas are not a viable, nor cost effective solution for wild dog management on vast pastoral stations such as those in South Australia. Most importantly, maremma’s do not help landholders to meet their wild dog control obligations.

Regards
Brad Page
Principal Biosecurity Officer - Pest Animals

DIANA WHIMP > DIANA WHIMP

16 Mar 2020

Maybe the management of livestock on vast stations could be changed so that guard animals are effective. I don't know about the problems on large stations, Are the sheep not flocked?

Government Agency

Wild Dog Planning Officer > DIANA WHIMP

17 Mar 2020

Hi Diana

At the workshops that PIRSA, SA Murray Darling NRM Board and the Eyre Pensinsula NRM Board recently funded, I asked each of the presenters why maremmas, donkeys and other guardian animals were not used more extensively, including by their neighbours. They all offered interesting insights, indicating that guardian animals are not as simple as some people make them seem. For example, some of their maremmas killed all of the lambs when they were born, because the maremmas had been trained on adult sheep, or maremmas strayed onto neighbouring properties and took baits, and some maremmas were less adept at remaining with and protecting the flock.

The rebuild of the South Australian Dog Fence, which is planned to be complete in 2024, will improve the productivity of the sheep industry and reduce its reliance on lethal control techniques.

Regards
Brad Page
Principal Biosecurity Officer - Pest Animals

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Louise Watson

14 Mar 2020

Putting Livestock before Wildlife is why we are losing our Wildlife! it has been this way since this country was invaded / colonised ...When will the government get it? Australia is wiping out species faster than anyone in the world. We use 1080; wiping out small critters everywhere and have been using 1080 for 60 years, then have the audacity to blame it on the Kangaroos in ACT for wiping out the smaller critters. Development and Suburbia spread and Farming are the other culprits. And ugly men with guns. Farmers have always HATED any wildlife, they have not learnt how to co exist with this environment. They do not want to learn how to adapt, or to co habitat with the creatures that have been here for thousands if not millions of years, they have always been quick to kill!! How dare they even say that Dingoes don't belong in WA...or SA, or NSW, or QLD, or anywhere. I would rather die than live in a world with no wildlife. We don't need to farm in these revolting old school barbaric ways! Not only that, but now we our living with Climate change, and to think that this industry can be sustained any longer is as insane as Scott Morrison saying he does not have to be tested for the COVID-19 after hanging out with Dutton. The Australian Government is a joke and I have zero respect for this liberal government, they are nasty out of touch old school bogans and they are all connected to farmers. I have zero respect for animal farmers too! ZERO. I have seen the damage they have done, they have wiped out the dingoes all along the East Coast of Australia Evil is how I describe them in fact. And I let everyone from other countries know how backwards we are when ever I get that chance. Thank you

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Wild Dog Planning Officer > Louise Watson

16 Mar 2020

Good afternoon

Thank you for your suggestions and comments to assist with wild dog management to sustain the livestock industry in SA. They will be considered during the review of the SA Wild Dog Policy.

The policy acknowledges that dingoes are a native species, having been introduced to Australia about 3500 years ago. Outside the Dog Fence, dingoes are managed as native animals, which perform ecological roles and are valued as an iconic totem by Aboriginal people.

It is widely acknowledged, even by leading academics, that populations of wild dogs (dingoes, hybrids and escaped domestic dogs) cannot coexist in the inside the Dog Fence together with a viable sheep industry.

Regards
Brad Page
Principal Biosecurity Officer - Pest Animals

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Sarah McGrady

14 Mar 2020

The fact that this is even being discussed as a possible 'solution' is disgusting! Dingos are a native animal. They should be protected not killed! Predators are an important part of a healthy ecosystem. As a country we have faced enough damage to the ecosystem this year, why destroy more? You should be working on ways to work with them being a part of the ecosystem instead of saying it's to hard let's just wipe them out. Very disapointed in this possibly going ahead. Ashamed to be apart of a state that believes killing them is the answer.

Government Agency

Wild Dog Planning Officer > Sarah McGrady

16 Mar 2020

Good afternoon

Thank you for your suggestions and comments to assist with wild dog management to sustain the livestock industry in SA. They will be considered during the review of the SA Wild Dog Policy.

The policy acknowledges that dingoes are a native species, having been introduced to Australia about 3500 years ago. Outside the Dog Fence, dingoes are managed as native animals, which perform ecological roles and are valued as an iconic totem by Aboriginal people.

It is widely acknowledged, even by leading academics, that populations of wild dogs (dingoes, hybrids and escaped domestic dogs) cannot coexist in the inside the Dog Fence together with a viable sheep industry.

Regards
Brad Page
Principal Biosecurity Officer - Pest Animals

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John Read

05 Mar 2020

I'm concerned that the only reason provided for permitting aerial baiting of dingoes north of the Dog Fence is "Outside the Dog Fence dingoes have been effectively maintained as a wildlife species, but their impacts on cattle have been excessive"

Have significant or excessive impacts to cattle (or their calves) in good condition been demonstrated for well managed pastoral stations north of the Dog Fence that outweigh the benefits provided by dingoes to land condition through suppression of competing herbivores?

Together with a team of scientists and outback pastoralists I was involved in a 4 year trial with the specific aim of informing this dingo management policy. On 4 stations we baited some paddocks and left others unbaited and compared calving rates, calf damage, dingo numbers and wildlife responses in the different treatments. Because we all appreciated that dingoes play important roles (for pastoralists and conservation) by reducing kangaroo/emu/goat/pig numbers but also occasionally attacked calves, we set out to determine under what conditions baiting was effective and beneficial for pastoralists. This is important because other studies and many observations have shown that continuous baiting can be counterproductive (dingoes can learn to avoid baits or competing herbivores build up in numbers) and studies in Qld and NT had found that dingo baiting actually increased calf attack compared to unbaited stations.

We didn't identify any years or stations where baiting significantly reduced calf losses (although admittedly the seasons were relatively good during our trial). We concluded that pastoralists can improve calving percentages better by maintaining the condition of their pastures and breeding cows rather than 'scape-goating' dingoes that attacked or scavenged the weak calves of weak cows. We recognised that in some circumstances (dingo prey declining at onset of dry periods) and maybe for particular problem dogs, judicious targeted baiting may be justified north of the fence for critical periods.

Its disappointing that the revised policy does not make mention of this study, does not mention the potentially counterproductive outcomes of broadscale regular baiting, does not acknowledge and promote that management of vegetation and cow condition provides better insurance for calf production than control of scavenger/predators that feed on weak calves, and doesn't propose trigger points when baiting could be considered. Is science and evidence valued?

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Wild Dog Planning Officer > John Read

13 Mar 2020

Good afternoon John,

Thank you for your suggestions and comments. They will be considered during the review of the SA Wild Dog Policy.

Not all pastoralists outside the fence regularly bait, with management being both tailored to the needs of individual properties and focused when dingo prey declines at onset of dry periods. Excessive impacts to cattle are what forces some pastoralists outside the fence to invest their time and money into baiting. Such investments are business decisions, which take into account the ecological benefits provided by dingoes.

You indicated that "We concluded that pastoralists can improve calving percentages better by maintaining the condition of their pastures and breeding cows rather than 'scape-goating' dingoes that attacked or scavenged the weak calves of weak cows". This does not appear to be one of the findings of the study, and is not reflective of the investment decisions that pastoralists make before they seek approval from their Landscape Board to undertake baiting.

This policy review is being led by one of the co-authors of the study you referenced on "The effect of wild dog control on cattle production and biodiversity in the SA arid zone". That study has informed the policy review.

Regards
Brad Page
Principal Biosecurity Officer - Pest Animals

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katherine moseby

05 Mar 2020

Thank you for the opportunity to comment. I have the following comments
1) I do not agree with the suggested change to force all landholders south of the fence to bait at a specified density and frequency using a specific bait. Landholders south of the fence manage land for a variety of purposes and many of them are not sheep graziers. We do not enforce compulsory cat control for biodiversity conservation nor compulsory fire management. If we would like neighbours to implement wild dog control then this should be encouraged rather than forced and whilst you can recommend control measures, there is not a one size fits all approach to dingo control. In many cases dingoes are bait shy and continuous baiting will not solve the problem. Additionally, many properties have not recorded dingoes for many years and so should not be asked to regularly bait unless dingoes are demonstrated to be an issue in their area. I suggest that this part of the policy is changed to say that if there is evidence that a high number of dingoes are present on a property south of the fence and they are moving onto neighbouring properties then they will be asked to comply with minimum baiting standards. Otherwise landholder should implement monitoring programs to detect dingoes when they appear and this should then trigger effective dingo control (with suggested guidelines for control but with options for different methods depending on the situation- trapping may be better than baiting in some instance). Dingo baiting is labour intensive, results in non target issues for native fauna and completely unnecessary if dingoes are not present in an area or at very low densities. The use of 1080 should be restricted to times when it is really needed not used as a routine control measure when there is no evidence of impact or presence of dingoes.
2. I do not support aerial baiting north of the dingo fence in any capacity. North of the fence dingoes are a legitimate wildlife species and an important cultural animal. There is strong scientific evidence that they control and reduce numbers of kangaroos, wild pigs, goats, wombats and other overabundant or pest species. Widespread baiting of dingoes north of the fence will lead to an expansion of the issues that are currently experienced south of the fence. There is ample evidence of the role dingoes play in suppressing these pest species and when dingoes are removed then these species can build up to very high numbers and cause extreme vegetation damage. There is no information in the revised policy about what triggers would be used for aerial baiting. Would density of dingoes be used as a trigger? How would this be measured? This policy does not provide any safeguards to ensure aerial baiting will only occur when necessary and I struggle to think of any times when widespread baiting north of the fence would be needed except maybe in limited areas after a series of wet years followed by a dry spell. The 2009-2010 wet period was a highly unusual event and is being used to elevate dingo control above required levels. Good cattle management can also reduce dingo damage. The benefits dingoes provide to landholders in terms of keeping kangaroos, pigs, wombats and goats down and increasing pasture production are likely to outweigh the long term impacts to cattle. I am not opposed to infrequent baiting of dingoes where there is a clear need but this should be based on evidence and agreed triggers and should include ground rather than broadscale aerial baiting. Dingoes are an important top order predator that help regulate prey species including feral herbivores.
3. I strongly oppose any baiting in the APY lands. This area is one of the last areas supporting a healthy dingo population and many of our arid zone threatened species are only found in this section of the state. The black flanked rock wallaby is under threat from foxes and cats, and dingoes are being actively left alone in sections of the APY lands for their role in suppressing foxes and cats around these colonies.
4. The 35km buffer zone of control is very wide and seems excessive. Again aerial baiting is an overkill in this area and will just increase the impact of cats and foxes, goats, kangaroos, wombats, pigs etc. Wombats are already an issue in the west in areas south of the dingo fence and goats in the south. Broadscale control of dingoes will exacerbate these issues. Landholders already control dingoes through shooting and ground baiting. Moving to aerial baiting north of the dingo fence is unwarranted and I have seen no evidence to suggest it is necessary. Changes to the dingo policy should be accompanied by hard science and evidence based decision making.

In summary, aerial baiting will lead to increased risk to non target fauna, increased incidence of pest species and has the potential to be mismanaged and overused. There are no agreed triggers or guidelines for its use, there is poor scientific support for this control method or for the impacts of dingoes on the cattle industry in general. I do not think this policy has been well thought out or due consideration given to the implications that widespread baiting will have on other fauna and on the integrity and purity of the wild dingo population. Additionally, enforced control over every property south of the fence is unnecessary, excessive and counterproductive. Where is the evidence that it is needed, what proportion of the properties south of the fence have reported dingo issues in recent times?

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Wild Dog Planning Officer > katherine moseby

13 Mar 2020

Good afternoon Katherine,

Thank you for your suggestions and comments. They will be considered during the review of the SA Wild Dog Policy.

1. For over 10 years DEW/NRM have worked to support and coordinate landholders inside the Fence in efforts to reduce the impacts of wild dogs. This has included regular and ongoing conversations with landholders where there are known to be wild dog populations. Unfortunately there are a number of landholders who do not undertake sufficient control, allowing safe havens for wild dogs to build and then disperse into areas of livestock production. Having a baiting standard in legislation will allow the Landscape Boards the opportunity to ensure the baiting standard is followed. Wild dogs, even in low densities, can disperse great distances to find a new home range. Landscape Boards target their enforcement activities using a risk-management approach; they would only enforce the baiting standard to protect the livestock industry.

2. Aerial baiting outside the Fence will allow for landholders to improve the efficiency of their baiting programs in those vast landscapes. Aerial baiting outside the Fence may also be required if the Fence sustains damage, for example, during a high rainfall event where damage occurs and the patrolmen are unable to repair the fence due to inaccessibility by ground.

Landholders who have their own aeroplanes and would like to bait their own properties must still abide by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority regulations for aircraft, as well as the Directions for Use for 1080 which limits where baits can be laid. In addition, the relevant Landscapes SA Boards have their own wild dog management plans, which restrict the amount of baits cattle producers can put out over a 12 month period. The level of baiting available to the landholders on properties outside the Fence was determined by looking at the 1080 baiting data on those properties over a 25 year period prior to 2009. In recent years, very few of the producers outside the Fence have baited anywhere near the maximum they are permitted.

The suppression of prey by wild dogs is heavily contested. There are many papers on the value of wild dogs in the environment, but there are many others that draw opposing conclusions. The distribution and abundance of dingoes have increased across Australia since Europeans introduced additional waters and prey. Returning Australian landscapes to their pre-European condition is not possible, and as a result all of our introduced species, including dingoes, need to be managed.

3. The APY Lands and the AW Landscapes SA Board make the decisions on whether or not wild dog baiting occurs in their district. Baiting is only undertaken to protect cattle properties in APY, and even there very little control is undertaken.

4. The 35km buffer zone was determined in the early 1990’s with the understanding that distance would cover the home range of wild dogs and their dispersal distance. Wombats are an issue on both sides of the Fence on the west coast of SA.

Regards
Brad Page
Principal Biosecurity Officer - Pest Animals

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Wild Dog Planning Officer > katherine moseby

03 Apr 2020

Hi Katherine

Just to clarify one of my comments above. I indicated that "...suppression of prey by wild dogs is heavily contested". The word prey in this context refers to "foxes and cats".

It is clear that dingoes suppress populations of animals such as macropods and feral goats.

Regards
Brad Page
Principal Biosecurity Officer - Pest Animals

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Bill Nosworthy

03 Mar 2020

Having left a long winded (for me) comment, and now reading others comments, I think this forum may have attracted some rather ill-informed dingo loving folks to get on board! Those with no connection to the land. Those with no thought for the multitudes of native animals eaten by their loving dingos. Without a care for the way they tear a living animal apart, leave it to die in agony, and go to find another to do the same; again, and again, and again. They are a top tier predator, which kills, not for food, but for entertainment, and because they can. There are very few full blood dingos in this country; the true dingo is a hunting beast, the cross breed is an even worse killer. If the Indonesian fishermen hadn't brought the bloody things here, we'd still have Thylacines in this country! That is, if the whitefellas hadn't killed al them, too. Ask the question; why was Tasmania the only place the Thylacine existed when white man arrived? Do some research, you might learn a thing or two. Meanwhile, go back to your latte and tofu, and don't give a care for the "real" world.

Mel Browning > Bill Nosworthy

15 Mar 2020

Bill Nosworthy. Having left a long winded comment and now reading other comments I think this forum may have attracted some rather ill-informed, dingo hating farmers with vested interests in vilifying and killing dingoes to get onboard! Those with zero respect for Australian wildlife. Those with no understand that without an apex predator in the landscape to pick off the old, sick, weak native prey, many more native species will go extinct. Without a care that dingoes are experiencing prolonged, agonising deaths, screaming in pain (liken to human screams), again and again and again from 1080 poison until dingoes are extinct. They are a top tier predator that only needs 500g of meat / day to survive and in the harsh Australian outback don't waste energy except to eat, preferring to conserve their energy sleep alot. There are few full blood feral dogs (less than 1.5%) in this country with hybridisation over exaggerated by those with vested interests. The true dingo is a hunting beast, skilled at a quick kill, with natiral selection quickly dealing with cross breed, that don't have the wild instincts to survive in the wild. If the Indonesian fishermen had brought the 'bloody things' here then why didn't these same fishermen leave pigs, chickens, seeds for crops let alone staying to inhabit Australia? If qhite man wasn't intent on wiping out apex predators, we'd still have Thylacines in Tasmania! No extinctions have ever been attributed to dingoes. Those other species that have gone extinct, the whitefellas have killed all them too. Ask the question: why didn't kangaroos and koalas and dingoes reach Tasmania but the Thylacine did? Who knows? Do some research you might learn a thing or two. Firstly that the latest genetic research proves dingoes have been here at least 8,300 years and arrived via an ancient land bridge. Meanwhile, stay on the farm and know that unless you humanely treat your livestock and make changes to co-exist with Australia's remaining wildlife then your market will be avoiding buying animal products in their millions, with many more enjoying latte and tofu, and continuing to care for the "real" world beyond those with zero respect beyond cashing in on the suffering of both livestock and wildlife.

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Bill Nosworthy

03 Mar 2020

I don't think the categorisation OT the dingo as "native" is correct; they, like the cat & fox, are recent imports to this country. They should be considered a feral species when not kept as a domestic pet. The best thing to happen in the last 100 years is the upgrade of the dog fence. It is well due to be done, so accolades to all parties involved. Tolerance of "organic" or "environmental" properties inside the fence avoiding their responsibilities should not be tolerated, if they won't do their job, then we should do it and charge accordingly. The "buffer zone" outside the fence should be excised from "organic" properties, and regular baiting, both ground and aerial, carried out regularly. Also, ALL landholders inside the dog fence should pay a Levy towards it's upkeep into the future, not just those close to the fence. Just because I am 200 km from the fence shouldn't let me off the hook! I reiterate; the dingo is NOT a native animal. The Thylacine was, and science would suggest the dingo caused their extinction on mainland Australia. They are a wolf, and always will be. Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

Government Agency

PIRSA Wild Dog Coordination Team > Bill Nosworthy

04 Mar 2020

Good afternoon Bill
Thank you for your suggestions and comments to assist with wild dog management to sustain the livestock industry in SA. They will be considered during the review of the SA Wild Dog Policy.

Justine PHILIP > Bill Nosworthy

06 Mar 2020

Bill, you are incorrect. Any animal that was present in Australia or an external territory prior to 1400 AD, and occurs naturally in the environment is classified in Australian Law as a native species.
Australian Law Information Institute, 2015

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Francesca Fennell

01 Mar 2020

We are pastoral lease holders North of the dog fence in SA.
We have a wild dog problem unless we control through use of 1080.
We regularly see tracks / packs of wild dogs coming in from North and West. Through use of 1080 we are able to minimise impacts on our cattle.
We have trialled not baiting - the effects are devastating. Full grown cattle with bite marks, 100% losses of calves within a herd and animal welfare issues. Alongside reduced native animals such as lizards. Why would a wild dog chase a kangaroo when it could have easy prey of a newborn calf or a lamb?

The dogs that we see are cross-bred with aboriginal hunting dogs (staghound, wolfhound etc) as well as traditional looking dingoes. We boundary the APY Lands and Tallaringa Conservation Park where dogs are not managed.
We would support aerial baiting outside of the dog fence. Due to large land areas we cannot get everywhere with a vehicle.

A dingo is an introduced animal - what makes it more important than other introduced animals such as cattle and sheep?
Cattle and sheep are using grasslands which could not be utilised for any other purpose and are producing food and fibre for the world.

We don't have any scientific data behind us, but we are on the ground everyday seeing the effects of what damage dogs can do and the benefits of controlling them.

Government Agency

PIRSA Wild Dog Coordination Team > Francesca Fennell

04 Mar 2020

Hi Francesca

Thank you for sharing your practical, on ground experience and knowledge of wild dogs and their management in the north of the state.

Your comments and perspective will be considered during the review of the SA Wild Dog Policy.

Justine PHILIP > Francesca Fennell

06 Mar 2020

The dingo is a cultural keystone species, see: https://theconversation.com/living-blanket-water-diviner-wild-pet-a-cultural-history-of-the-dingo-80189
They are also legally a native species.
The results of the wild dog impact on your property are indeed terrible and do not conform to results of trials undertaken by the CSIRO and others, that find supporting dingo populations beneficial to cattle production. To lose 100% of carves is staggering and completely out of character, suggesting that there is something very different at play within the local environment and management practice that requires urgent attention. I would suggest getting CSIRO specialist out to look at the condition of the stock and land. As for supporting aerial baiting, it is proven to have a 71% uptake by non-target species and very poor uptake (less than 1%) by dingoes.

Francesca Fennell > Francesca Fennell

06 Mar 2020

I was hesitant to put our comments on a page like this, where as it demonstrates people feel the need to argue and belittle others for having their opinion.
I did because I feel its important to have someone's perspective who is affected by wild dogs.
This forum I thought was to "Have your say" on proposed wild dog legislation - not to comment and argue with others who may have a different view to yours.

Government Agency

Wild Dog Planning Officer > Francesca Fennell

13 Mar 2020

Hi Francesca,

Thank you for bringing your perspective to this forum. It is important for people to understand both sides of this issue.

Regards
Brad Page
Principal Biosecurity Officer - Pest Animals

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