Locals, RSPCA slam use of 1080, but council says it's needed
BUNDABERG region locals have slammed the use of the poison 1080 in a baiting program.
The NewsMail's Facebook community reacted with concern following news a baiting program would be carried out to rid the Childers area of wild dogs and dingoes.
The program, run by Bundaberg Regional Council, came about after three property owners along Guppys Rd reported seeing wild dogs on their land.
However, locals levelled a number of criticisms at the method being used to exterminate the animals.
Land owner Lyne Pym who lives in the area said she was entirely against the program.
"I am totally against the cruel act of baiting,” she said.
"I am a land owner and understand that we need to protect our pets and livestock from being attacked, but I do believe there are more humane ways of controlling the problem.
"Baiting is not an instant death and these poor animals suffer.”
Ms Pym recommended bringing in professional trappers.
"There are professional trappers that would be willing to come to the area and help with the problem if the were asked,” she said.
Many commentors said they were concerned for the wellbeing of their domestic dogs, with some saying they had lost their dogs and never knew if baiting could have been a culprit.
Nicole Beiger slammed the decision to use 1080 baiting.
"Good old Bundaberg again proving how unethical and behind the times it is,” she said.
George Walsh said he was not ignorant to the problems caused by wild dogs, but said 1080 posted a danger to wildlife.
"I know the damage wild dogs do, but these baiting programs also kill anything thing that eats meat including native animals - goannas, eagles, etc,” he said.
Many labelled the baiting cruel and called for it to be scrapped.
The RSPCA holds the view that while some introduced species do need to be controlled, 1080 is an unacceptable method.
"We argue that the control methods used should be as humane as possible,” the organisation's official statement says.
"The available evidence on the effect of 1080 on affected species indicates that it is not a humane poison.”
An RSPCA spokesman said deaths from 1080 were cruel and painful.
"It's very sad - as humans we put them there in the first place, it's not their fault,” he said.
The RSPCA says it has campaigned for many years for an alternative to 1080, with the goal of phasing it out.
The group says another lethal poison - para-amino propiophenone, or PAPP - which causes animals to become weak and lose consciousness is the preferred alternative.
The chemical also has an antidote.
According to the council however, the use of 1080 bates is currently recommended by Biosecurity Queensland as its favoured option due to its more environmentally friendly attributes (it is able to break down more quickly than PAPP).
Bundaberg Regional Council environment and natural resources portfolio holder councillor Bill Trevor said baiting programs were carried out under a stringent regime.
"...only registered landowners who comply with specific instruction relating to the distribution of 1080 baits are allowed participation in the program,” Cr Trevor said.
"Council is scheduling an information session on Wednesday, May 31 at Apple Tree Creek to discuss its co-ordinated approach to a wild dog 1080 baiting program as well as alternate control methods.
"Council is trying to increase landholders' knowledge by holding workshops that aim to promote awareness of options including trapping as well as demonstrating the skills essential to successfully implementing a control program.”
Cr Trevor said it was also up to landholders to ensure their animals were protected.
"Landholders seriously need to consider upgrading their fencing to provide long term protection of their livestock as baiting and trapping only offer partial protection and are more of a reactionary response after the damage has been done,” Cr Trevor said.
"The attacks by wild dogs on livestock is a huge financial burden for property owners, both in a loss of livestock and the costs of control methods. Tragically, domestic pets are also a target food of wild dogs.”
Cr Trevor said the council was mindful of addressing its baiting programs in accordance with best practice as outlined under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 which provides for the control of pest animals.
Bundaberg Regional Council said through its regular information and demonstrations workshops, it strongly promotes landowners, and stock owners in particular, to construct protective fencing to enclose their livestock which is a more proactive means of securing their animals.
The council says the use of 1080 baiting is an approved substance that has been and continues to be an effective control method against wild dogs.
What happens when dogs ingest the baits?
The signs of poisoning are usually noticed within half an hour of ingestion, although symptoms can take more than six hours to manifest.
Initial symptoms include vomiting, anxiety, disorientation and shaking.
These quickly develop into frenzied behaviour with running and screaming fits, drooling at the mouth, uncontrolled paddling and seizures, followed by total collapse and death.