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'If you see a dog, shoot it': Frustrated CQ father's stance

Feral dogs are causing problems for land owners in some parts of the Rockhampton region.
Feral dogs are causing problems for land owners in some parts of the Rockhampton region. Steph Allen

RIDGELANDS property owner, Terry Grant, is demanding a bounty on wild dogs plaguing the district.

"You're going to have every greenie up in arms," said Mr Grant said.

"I think it's just more of a mentality of today's society that if its cute and fluffy you can't euthanise it. They can't discern between their pet dog and a wild dog."

Just like Banana Shire's feral cat bounty currently in place, the 30-year-old father believes that the only way to tackle the growing pest problem is for residents to take up arms.

Like Mr Grant, many locals are currently going out to the properties with guns to "purposely knock the wild dog population down".

"I've already spoken to my neighbours, told them that if I see a dog on my property I won't be checking for collars," Mr Grant said.

"And I expect them to do the same. If my dog wanders on their property I'm not going to get upset if they shoot it. They're going to think it's a wild dog. We're all under the same understanding out there. Because [wild] dogs are such a problem; if you see a dog, shoot it."

Should there be a bounty on wild dogs in Central Queensland?

This poll ended on 01 November 2017.

Current Results

Yes, they're a pest

72%

No, there's a better way

24%

I don't care

3%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Mr Grant has witnessed first-hand the devastation the dogs are causing to stock on the outer Rockhampton properties.

"There is a property that I do shoot on that has had a problem with dogs for many, many years and they do lose cattle.

"I do have a friend out there, he lost 13 steers in one night.

"Wild dogs; they're not like dingos. They will kill for fun. They'll go through and they'll kill a whole bunch, have a chew here and there. Most of the time you have to actually get out there and shoot the cows because they're just beyond saving.

"They'll have half their face missing or their backside eaten out."

Mr Grant told the Morning Bulletin that the wild dogs are difficult to shoot, and there is a high chance of wounding it and making it suffer if they see the gun and flee.

He also said that he will often send a warning shot over the dogs' heads to scare them off, but it doesn't stop them from coming back.

"During summer they come up [to the house] pretty much every night trying to call my dogs out ... if they do call them out they will kill the dogs."

Mr Grant is also concerned for the safety of his family and does not allow his children to be outside come dusk.

Ridgelands resident says there should be a bounty on wild dogs.
Ridgelands resident says there should be a bounty on wild dogs. Contributed ROK100915awilddogs10

"It is a problem created by humans. They're an apex predator in an ecosystem that's not designed around that and only humans can solve this problem.

"I honestly do think it's gone too far to fully eradicate it. All you can do is try and control their numbers which is a losing battle."

Despite the use of firearms to keep the numbers down, the real problem lies not just in culling methods, but in the issue of extensive breeding amongst the wild dogs.

Mr Grant believes that locals need to begin taking matters into their own hands.

"They pretty much need to keep an eye on their own dogs. They need to de-sex their own dogs so they don't breed with the wild ones. And they need to start taking notice of people taking their dogs out there and dumping them because they become the problem."

Dog dumping outside of town is also increasing the numbers of wild dogs, as any abandoned pets will become feral in order to survive.

Rockhampton Region councillor Ellen Smith.
Rockhampton Region councillor Ellen Smith. Allan Reinikka ROK190717aspringe

The Morning Bulletin approached Chair of the Planning and Regulatory Committee, Councillor Ellen Smith for comment on the issue.

"Rockhampton Regional Council is absolutely committed to working with our rural landholders and all stakeholders, including the State Government, when it comes to feral pest animals," Cr Smith said.

"There are no plans to introduce an incentive scheme for feral animals.

"Wild dogs are not an issue unique to our region and it is a whole of community issue which requires a collaborative approach to address.

"At the end of the day, whether you're a council or state government or landholder, it is the responsibility of whoever owns the land to control invasive animals on that property.

"That's why we work with rural properties to support their efforts on their own properties.

"Our residents have a role to play as well, and can help out by reporting any sightings immediately to council, and ensuring they don't behave in a way which encourages wild dogs into urban areas.

"This includes feeding, which is prohibited under legislation."



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