Media Release Self-culling dingo proposal morally and environmentally bankrupt
National Dingo Preservation and Recovery Program (Inc. A0051763G )
Date: Thursday June 30, 2016
Secretary of the National Dingo Preservation and Recovery Program Inc. (NDPRP Inc.), Dr Ernest Healy, today slammed the idea of releasing dingoes with pre-timed poison devices implanted inside them as morally and environmentally bankrupt.
This week, it has been reported that dingoes have been released on Pelorus Island in Queensland to rid the Island of its population of feral goats. The dingoes, which have been neutered, have also had capsules of deadly 1080 poison implanted under their skin, designed to dissolve in about two years time. The advocates clearly expect that this approach will be used more widely across Australia.
Dr Healy stated:
“First, the use of 1080 poison for the pre-timed killing of the dingoes is cruel. 1080 poison is widely considered to result in a prolonged and agonising death. How such a proposal got past any credible animal research ethics approval process, either within a university or government department, beggars belief.”
“Second, despite the claim that this use of dingoes would be environmentally beneficial, it is really designed to sidestep a genuinely satisfactory environmental outcome, which would include the permanent reintroduction of dingo populations to their former range where the habitat is suitable.”
Increasingly, major conservation organisations and prominent environmental scientists have advocated for the reintroduction of dingoes into their former range as a way to help restore ecosystem health. In the view of these scientists, the historical removal of dingoes as farming activity expanded has contributed to the fragility of Australian ecosystems and to Australia’s appalling extinction rate of native species, particularly small mammal species.
However, because of the long-term hostility of the sheep industry to dingoes, inherited from the colonial period, dingoes have continued to be purged from vast areas near to sheep farming and the well-being of the natural environment has remained a lower-order priority for governments.
Rather than search for a workable historic compromise between the interests of the sheep farming industry and ecosystem health, which would involve the permanent reintroduction of dingoes and acknowledgement of their important environmental role, the proposal to program introduced dingoes for a pre-scheduled cruel death relies upon and perpetuates the worst misconceptions about the dingo, that it too is just a pest animal with no intrinsic environmental value – to be eradicated.
Dr Healy stated:
“The Orwellian concept of using ‘self-culling’ dingoes to kill introduced pests, and that they too then be exterminated as pests by a pre-programmed poison device after having done their good work, is not only cruel, but merely avoids the need for a mature and genuine historic resolution of the conflict between sheep farming and the natural environment in Australia. Many Australians would correctly find such a callous misuse of an iconic native animal to be repugnant.”
Dr Ernest Healy, Secretary NDPRP Inc., 0438378430 (mob.), firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Ian Gunn BVSc. FACVSc. President NDPRP, 0427 387778 (mob.) email@example.com