Native animals poisoned, trapped, shot.

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Dingoes urgently need your help

Urge the Andrews Government to better protect this iconic species and support landholders to use non-lethal management options.

A distressed dingo trapped in a jaw trap howls, trying to free themselves.
Credit: Defend the Wild / Farm Transparency Project

Dingoes urgently need your help

Urge the Andrews Government to better protect this iconic species and support landholders to use non-lethal management options.

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Thank you for wanting to protect animals from cruelty! This action is for residents of Australia, but you can email the Victorian Premier instead here at this address daniel.andrews@parliament.vic.gov.au.

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Animals Australia

Animals Australia team

Last updated 14 November 2022

Dingoes, despite their status as a threatened and protected species in Victoria, are being targeted and killed to appease the interests of the animal agriculture industry. Although alternative options exist, the Victorian Government not only permits, but encourages dingoes to be killed by poison, trapping and shooting. They even offer a cash bounty on dingoes’ heads meaning anyone with a gun licence can be financially rewarded for killing these native animals. 

The killing of this ‘protected’ native species is government-approved

A recent investigation by our courageous friends at Farm Transparency Project and Defend the Wild exposed the awful treatment of this iconic species under threat.

They documented dingoes in Victorian bushland who had their paws crushed by jaw traps, forced to wait terrified and in pain for the arrival of government wild dog controllers. One dingo spent an agonising 24 hours trapped and exposed to the elements. The investigation footage shows the dingoes struggling in a panic even twisting their limbs around trees while trying to free themselves. These trapped animals may never have even set foot on a farmyet their lives would be ended by a bullet and a flawed government policy.

This indiscriminate killing of dingoes, via poisoning, trapping and shooting, contributed to them being listed as a threatened and protected species in 2007. But despite this, a government loophole called a Ministerial Order in Council unprotects dingoes on private land or in buffer zones within national and state parks on the basis of protecting livestock like sheep and lambs.

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Incredibly, despite sanctioning the killing of a threatened species, the Victorian Government does not know how many dingoes are killed each year in total. Nor do they know how many remain in the wild, leaving researchers and advocates with dire concerns for the continued survival of the already threatened species. The only published figure is that of dingoes who are killed through the state’s bounty system‘.

Dingoes are incorrectly called ‘wild dogs’ to make more palatable the killing of a threatened species. Research indicates 99% of Australia’s so-called ’wild dogs’ are in fact pure dingoes or very close relatives of pure dingoes.[1] Domestic dogs rarely manage to survive and breed in the wild.

 “Wild dog management” programs therefore are, in essence, dingo eradication programs 

BE A VOICE FOR DINGOES

Dingoes are of cultural and ecological importance

Dingoes have lived in Australia for at least 5,000 years. The traditional custodians of the land treasure the dingo as a totem species – this iconic animal plays an important part in Indigenous culture and history.

While permitting and facilitating the killing of dingoes, the Victorian Government has made little effort to understand their role in the region’s ecosystems. As apex predators, dingoes ensure populations of other animals are kept in balance.

The justification for lethal control measures is flawed

The loss of sheep (who are bred to be killed for their meat and wool) to predators is minimal when compared to losses related to farm management practices. In fact, studies show that sheep deaths from predation (primarily foxes) are as low as 7%  in Victoria [2], making the ‘threat to livestock’ justification for killing dingoes deeply flawed.

In stark contrast, the deaths of 80% of lambs each year nationally are found to be the result of farm management practices such as farmers not providing shelter, selectively breeding for multiple births, starvation, and mis-mothering.[3][4] Rather than the industry proactively addressing these preventable deaths, dingoes are being demonised and given a death sentence.

There are 15 million introduced sheep in Victoria and estimated to be less than 6,000 native dingoes [5] a frighteningly low number. This native species is being pushed further out of their habitat largely due to farming, and then targeted and killed for simply existing in some of the spaces they have left to call home.

Australian wildlife are suffering from cruel and agonising poisoning methods

The use of 1080 poison – which is banned globally except in Australia and New Zealand – is causing the excruciating deaths of this iconic native animal, as well as other ‘non-target’ animals.

This poison is used by baiting on the ground as well as by air. In May 2022 alone, 3,732 baits of poisoned meat were dropped by aircraft every 100 metres across over 400kms of Victorian land.

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The Victorian Government must properly protect native wildlife

In December 2021, the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into the Decline of Ecosystems led to the following recommendations being made: 

  • The Order in Council that declares dingoes ‘unprotected’ in certain zones be revoked 
  • The Fox and ‘Wild Dog’ bounty system be reviewed 
  • Agriculture Victoria improve non-lethal strategies 
  • The phase-out of the use of 1080 in July 2022, starting in national parks, be considered. 

The Andrews Government was required to respond to the recommendations within 6 months but has failed to do so. Meanwhile, it continues to pour millions of tax-payer funding into the widespread killing of dingoes.

These resources should instead be put into more humane, non-lethal measures to protect farmed animals from predation, such as electric exclusion fencing and supporting the use of guardian animals.

This image contains content which some may find confronting

A black dingo trapped in a jaw trap in the Victorian bush.
Native dingoes are being given a death sentence regardless of whether they ever have, or ever will, prey on introduced farmed animals. According to sheep industry reports, less than 10% of lamb deaths are from predation – the vast majority of deaths are preventable with improved farm management practices.
Image credit: Defend the Wild / Farm Transparency Project

How you can help dingoes

Call on the Andrews Government to revoke the Order in Council that declared dingoes as ‘unprotected wildlife’ and to support landholders to use non-lethal management options.

Speak up for dingoes today.

 people are helping.
Animals Australia
A polite plea to the Premier in your own words will be much more powerful than a pre-written letter – which is why we kindly request you write your own letter on behalf of the dingoes who need us. Please know letters do not need to be complex or lengthy to have a profound impact for native wildlife. 

Your details Your message , step of 2
  • Step 1
    Your details
  • Step 2
    Your message

Thank you for wanting to protect animals from cruelty! This action is for residents of Australia, but you can email the Victorian Premier instead here at this address daniel.andrews@parliament.vic.gov.au.

By completing this action, you give permission for Animals Australia to contact you. You can unsubscribe from updates at any time.

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Your details are safe, refer to our privacy policy

Please use the template letter below or feel free to write your own.

Your representative is:

The Premier
Dear Premier
Regards
.

Validating...


You’re almost ready to help make a difference!

To maximise the impact of your letter, you should send it from your own email account.

    1. Click "Prepare my message now" below.
    2. You will be redirected to your personal email program, where a new email draft will be pre-populated.
    3. You will have the opportunity to edit the email and personalise it to give it more impact if you wish. Otherwise, just press "SEND" through your email program.

That’s it! With those simple steps, you can ensure your voice is heard in the call for valuable, meaningful change. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s call for kindness, now.

You’re ready to take action!

Ready to help us make important, meaningful change? Send your message now and add your voice to the call for kindness.

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Your name has been added to the other currently taking action against animal cruelty.
Help us spread the word and encourage others to take action to end animal cruelty by sharing it on social media.

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REFERENCES

[1] Cairns, K. M., Crowther, M. S., Nesbitt, B., Letnic, M. (2021). The myth of wild dogs in Australia: are there any out there? Australian Mammalogy 44, 67-75.

[2] Refshauge G., Brien F. D., Hinch G. N., van de Ven R. (2016) Neonatal lamb mortality: factors associated with the death of Australian lambs. Animal Production Science 56, 726-735.

[3] King, B., Friend, M., Behrendt, R., Morant, A. (2013). Improving Survival of Lambs. EverGraze Exchange, 2.

[4] Kopp, K., Hernandez-Jover, M., Robertson, S., Abuelo, A., Friend, M. (2020). A Survey of New South Wales Sheep Producer Practices and Perceptions on Lamb Mortality and Ewe Supplementation. Animals 10, 2.

[5] Robley, A., Ramsey, D.S.L. and Woodford, L. (2018). Estimating population changes in wild dogs, feral cats and foxes in relation to an aerial baiting operation in eastern Victoria. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research Technical Report Series No. 292. Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Heidelberg, Victoria, vii. 

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