FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHRUG: IS THIS DOG A ‘NATIVE’ YET?
A NOTICE WARNING of fox and wild dog baiting in local forests appeared in the Public Notice section of Narooma News, on Wednesday May 26.
Animals to be targeted under this program are foxes and wild dogs. Dingoes have been classed as “wild dogs” for the purpose of the scheme, even though as a native animal with an important role to play as an apex predator in the eco-system they should be entitled to protection.
EDITORIAL COMMENT: This ABC article (linked here) comes around to recognise the dingo as apex predator but still peppers the report with pastoralist ideas of what is a ‘pest’ to be removed, including the native kangaroos, and what might be allowed to live.
Tragically for the already disrupted balance of nature other native animals will also die a hideous, painful death as a result of ingesting 1080 poison.
This poison is so damaging to people, birds and animals it has been banned in most other countries of the world. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) reports that: “1080 is toxic to all living species, including microbes, plants, insects, birds and humans. There are reports that Nazis considered using the poison on Jewish prisoners in concentration camps but decided against it because of danger to the guards.”
Fire and drought: let’s follow it with poisoning
Hasn’t our wildlife suffered enough death and dislocation as a result of flood, fire and famine over the last few years without being subjected to further pain and loss from such an indiscriminate and dangerous scheme?
RELATED ARTICLE: Poisoned pills showered on burned parks and reserves.
Are we so little concerned with environmental issues and the fact that Australia already has one of the highest wildlife extinction rates in the world that we allow our state forests to become killing fields for the next four months?
So why is this plan being condoned by the state government and accepted by local councils? Presumably it is in response to some farmers complaints about threats to their livestock in areas adjoining state forests, but what exactly is this threat? And aren’t there more humane ways of livestock protection, even if will mean less income for manufacturers of 1080?
Domestic dog owners know
If you are the owner of a dog that has eaten part of poisoned carrion dropped into your backyard, or of a maremma guardian dog protecting sheep that died in agony you will certainly have an opinion! Animal Rights lawyer, Marilyn Nuske is even challenging the legality of using 1080 poison.
As a controversial issue among the relatively few people who know of this scheme, why haven’t the views of animal rights groups, humanitarians, ecologists, scientists and biologists been discussed, debated and publicised before this war on wildlife was been declared as a fait accompli?
Indigenous people for whom the dingo is a totem animal believe we must learn to live in harmony with Nature.
In the words of David Attenborough —
“It’s surely our responsibility to do everything within our power to provide a planet that provides a home — not just for us — but for all life on earth”.