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WA Dingo Association (Warning.. Some images in this presentation may cause distress)

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Presentation on theme: "WA Dingo Association (Warning.. Some images in this presentation may cause distress)"— Presentation transcript:

1 WA Dingo Association (Warning.. Some images in this presentation may cause distress)

2 Who / What is WADA? The WA Dingo Association is a non-profit organisation formed in 2005 by a small collection of WA Dingo guardians and enthusiasts. With membership growing, we now count internationally renowned scientists amongst our ranks. WADAs focus is on public education regarding the Dingo and to create more awareness of this much maligned native Australian Wolf, the living ancestor of all domestic dog species. Many myths and fallacies surround the Dingo, diminutive and naturally timid creatures that will favour flight over fight any day. Gentle, loving and affectionate, Dingoes are not baby eating monsters as they are often wrongly portrayed. Evolving and adapting in the Australian environment for 18, ,000 years, the Dingo fills the role of ecological stabiliser. It has been proven where stable Dingo packs live, there is greater bio-diversity. Where they are absent, introduced predators and other invasive species decimate the native flora and fauna. Currently being studied by scientists at the USAs Harvard University they are thought to be as intelligent as some higher order primates. In their native country official policy in many states class them as unprotected, to be wiped out at every opportunity, yet some have listed them as a vulnerable native species protected by law. Without further research and awareness, the Dingo will go the way of the Thylacine.

3 The Australian Dingo Canis sp.dingo The Dingo is a free-roaming Canid found only in Australia. It is currently classified as a subspecies of the Grey Wolf, Canis Lupus. Although new DNA evidence suggests that the Dingo is not a subspecies of Wolf but evolved parallel to the Wolf and is the living ancestor of all domestic dog breeds. The Dingo is NOT a descendant of domestic dogs, gone wild, but a living fossil, the first proto-dog. A Dingo's habitat ranges from deserts to grasslands and the edges of forests. Dingoes are very social animals, living in bonded for life pairs, and small family packs of up to 10. The Dingo is the largest terrestrial predator in Australia, and plays an important role as an apex predator. Current 'management' practices are exacerbating the issue of hybridization and pack dispersion, Stable packs with hierarchical structure will rarely interact or breed with other Canids, territories are defended fiercely. For many Australians the dingo is a cultural icon, and because of this there is fear of the species becoming extinct, as has happened with the Thylacine in Tasmania. Dingoes also have a prominent position in the culture of Aboriginal Australians as a part of stories and ceremonies, and they are depicted on rock carvings and cave paintings.

4 The Australian Dingo Canis sp.dingo.. Australian or Southern Wolf Dingoes ARE Native to Australia.. Commonwealth legislation applies an arbitrary date of 1400 AD to define whether Fauna & Flora are Native species... However.... DNA, carbon dating and weathering evidence of Aboriginal Rock art depicting Dingoes, effectively disputes the claim of 'introduction' by Asian seafarers only 4,000 years ago.. Some art has been dated at 28,000 years old!! Dingoes probably migrated to the Sahul Continent 18,000 to 28,000 years ago during the Pleistocene ice age when sea levels were up to 180 meters lower.

5 The Australian Dingo Dingoes come in 3 colours...

6 The Australian Dingo The social life of the Dingo.. Dingoes are very social animals. Dingoes live alone or in mated pairs. Dingoes bond for life. It is a matriarchal society, the Alpha Female rules the pack. Breeding occurs once a year, puppies born in winter, usually 5 pups. Only the Alpha Female will fall pregnant. The Father will help to raise the pups. Aunties also help raise the puppies, even lactating to feed the Alpha's pups. In hard times packs of related Dingoes will form in order to team up and prey on larger kangaroos for survival in the wild. Pack sizes rarely exceed 10. In the Wild, Dingoes usually live 7-9 years. In captivity they can live up to 28 years of age.

7 The Australian Dingo Dingoes & the Environment.. Scientific studies show that where stable Dingo packs are present, biodiversity is greater. Dingoes protect native fauna by excluding introduced predators such as Foxes and feral cats. Actively by hunting, and also by scent marking their territories. Dingoes maintain healthy native fauna population by preying on the weak, the injured and the infirm. Much as Lions in Africa. Without an Apex predator, herbivore populations such as rabbits, goats and kangaroos explode and clear the land of vegetation.

8 The Australian Dingo Dingoes & the Law.. Every State & territory has differing legislation regarding the Dingo. South Australia Dingoes and their hybrids are appointed pests in the sheep areas south of the Dingo Fence under the Animal and Plant Control Board (Agricultural Protection and Other Purposes) Act (1986). There they have to be controlled and can only be kept in captivity of authorised zoos and wildlife parks. North of the Dingo Fence dingoes are regarded as legitimate wildlife and although they are not protected, they are given a certain protection in a buffer zone of 35 km north of the Dingo Fence.

9 The Australian Dingo Dingoes & the Law.. Every State & territory has differing legislation regarding the Dingo. Northern Territory The dingo is regarded as protected, not threatened and native under the Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act (2000). Dingoes in the Northern Territory are regarded as having an important conservational value since interbreeding of dingoes and other domestic dogs is low in the area. However dingoes can be legally killed when they are a danger for the livestock industry.

10 The Australian Dingo Dingoes & the Law.. Every State & territory has differing legislation regarding the Dingo. Queensland Dingoes and their hybrids are regarded as pests under the Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act All landowners are legally committed to reduce the number of all wild dogs on their lands. The dingo is regarded as wildlife and native wildlife under the Nature Conservation Act (1992) and is a natural resource (therefore protected) in conservation areas. Outside of these areas dingoes are not regarded as native Australian and are not protected. Dingoes and their hybrids can only be kept in wildlife parks and zoos with ministerial agreement.

11 The Australian Dingo Dingoes & the Law.. Every State & territory has differing legislation regarding the Dingo. New South Wales The Rural Lands Protection Act (1998) allocates wild dogs the status of pests and demands from landowners, that they shall be decimated or eradicated. Dingoes are not regarded as protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act (1974). The dingo is regarded as a native species under the Threatened Species Conservation Act (1995). The Wild Dog Destruction Act (1921) includes Dingoes in its definition of wild dogs. This law only affects the western part of the state, where landowners are committed to control wild dogs. The law forbids the ownership of dingoes in that region. In other parts of the state dingoes can be kept as pets due to the Companion Animals Act (1998

12 The Australian Dingo Dingoes & the Law.. Every State & territory has differing legislation regarding the Dingo. Victoria Wild dogs & Dingoes are regarded as established pests under the Catchment and Land Protection Act (1994) and landowners have the legal duty to hinder the spreading of wild dogs on their lands and to eradicate them as much as possible. The term wild dogs includes all dingoes, feral domestic dogs, dogs who became wild and crossbreeds (except for recognised breeds like the Australian Cattle Dog). The dingoes are granted a certain protection in areas that are managed by the National Parks Act (1975). Since 1998 it is possible to own dingoes as pets. At that time there was the possibility that "pure" dingoes may become officially classified as a protected species, according to official statements, that would not stand in conflict with control measures against wild dogs. In 2008, Dingoes were officially declared a threatened species (in danger of extinction) and are now protected, ONLY when in private ownership.

13 The Australian Dingo Dingoes & the Law.. Every State & territory has differing legislation regarding the Dingo. Australian Capital Territory Dingoes are regarded as protected under the Nature Conservation Act (1980). On private land killing of wild dogs is allowed when you have permission from the territory.

14 The Australian Dingo Dingoes & the Law.. Every State & territory has differing legislation regarding the Dingo. Tasmania The import of dingoes to Tasmania is forbidden under the National Parks and Wildlife Act (1970).

15 The Australian Dingo Dingoes & the Law.. Every State & territory has differing legislation regarding the Dingo. Western Australia Dingoes and their hybrids are regarded as declared animals under the Agriculture and Related Resources Protection Act (1976). Populations have to be controlled and can be kept as pets under certain conditions. The Dingo is the ONLY Native Vertebrate animal currently listed as UNPROTECTED under the Western Australian Wildlife Conservation Act (1950).

16 The Australian Dingo Hidden Victims.. Lack of Welfare Protection of Dingoes in Australia Dingoes are directly or indirectly exempted from protection under animal welfare / cruelty legislation. As was stated by the president of the Australian Law Reform Commission, a major loophole in animal welfare legislation seemingly fails to protect many animals, including pest animals. In addition, specific legislation dealing with management and eradication of invasive animals also fails to regard the welfare of Dingoes. For example section 24 of the Animal Welfare Act 2002 (WA) creates an express defence against cruelty prosecution under the Act when killing pests. Similar exemptions apply in other states..

17 The Australian Dingo Hidden Victims.. Lack of Welfare Protection of Dingoes in Australia Many statutes dealing with Dingo or 'wild dog' control make no mention of animal welfare and those that do make it clear that only certain animals, such as protected or endangered animals, deserve welfare consideration. For example, section 54 of the Wildlife Conservation Regulations 1970 (WA) makes it clear protected fauna enjoy a very different standard of welfare to non-protected fauna. The provision outlines illegal means and devices that may not be used to take (kill) fauna. These include traps likely to cause suffering to trapped animals, explosives, poisons, and others. These provisions are qualified and do not apply to fauna that has been declared to be not protected under section 14 of the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (WA). (Such as the Dingo)

18 The Australian Dingo Hidden Victims.. Lack of Welfare Protection of Dingoes in Australia Another example of lack of animal welfare consideration arises indirectly through the registration and approval process of poisonous substances. A recent review of 1080 (mono-sodium-flouroacetate) by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) did not include welfare considerations in their decision to approve the continued registration of 1080 for Dingo control. The Report conceded there is a strong public concern about the humaneness of 1080; however animal welfare is not a specific criterion under the Agvet Codes, so is not taken into account in making decisions about the future use of is manufactured in the USA has been banned for use in the United States, while Australia uses an average of 200kg each year. A 2005 parliamentary inquiry recommended to amend the legislative criteria under which the APVMA operates to expressly include consideration of animal welfare at the time registration of poisons is first considered. To date no such amendment has been made.

19 The Australian Dingo Hidden Victims.. Lack of Welfare Protection of Dingoes in Australia Further evidence of inadequate emphasis on animal welfare can be found by examining the inconsistent regulation of the same control method across jurisdictions. A control method frequently gaining attention due to animal welfare concerns is the use of leghold traps, in particular steel-jaw traps. In 1863 Charles Darwin declared the leg-hold trap one of the cruelest devices ever invented and offered 50 pounds to the RSPCA as a prize to be won by the inventor of an alternative to the trap. 150 years on leg-hold traps are still used in Australia despite being banned in 80 countries because of their negative effect on animal welfare.

20 The Australian Dingo Hidden Victims.. Lack of Welfare Protection of Dingoes in Australia There is no uniform legislation governing the use of leg-hold traps in Australia and the inconsistency of their permitted use clearly shows the wide discrepancy of emphasis on animal welfare across jurisdictions. In some States such as Tasmania the use of steel-jaw traps is prohibited. Other States have enacted legislation to modify steel jaw traps in an effort to make them more humane. For example, in New South Wales, steel jaw traps are prohibited, while certain restricted traps and padded traps are permitted. In South Australia and Western Australia steel-jaw traps for the control of Dingoes are permitted and the traps jaws are laced with strychnine. A trapping permit in the Australian Capital Territory allows the use of restricted traps but the legislation fails to give a definition of a restricted trap. Some legislation actually describes steel jaw traps as an inhumane device and then goes on to permit their use. For example, as mentioned, the Animal Welfare Act 2002 (WA) creates an offence against the use of a prescribed inhumane device on an animal. Jawed traps are a prescribed inhumane device, yet as stated they are permitted to be used for the control of Dingoes..

21 The Australian Dingo Welfare Issues In all states & territories, the Dingo is permitted to be killed using INHUMANE methods poison What is the RSPCA's view on using 1080 for pest animal control? for-pest-animal-control_141.html The RSPCA has conducted a review of the available science on the humaneness of the effect of 1080 and the evidence indicates that 1080 is not a humane poison.

22 The Australian Dingo Welfare Issues In all states & territories, the Dingo is permitted to be killed using INHUMANE methods. TRAPPING What does the RSPCA think about the trapping of wild dogs? trapping-of-wild-dogs_145.html..the RSPCA is opposed to any method of control that does not result in a humane death. Current methods of trapping do not meet this requirement, as animals that are caught in traps can suffer greatly for a considerable time before they are finally killed.

23 The Australian Dingo Welfare Issues In all states & territories, the Dingo is permitted to be killed using INHUMANE methods. RECREATIONAL HUNTING RSPCA Policy C05 Hunting of animals for sport animals-for-sport_176.html.RSPCA Australia is opposed to the hunting of any animal for sport as it causes unnecessary injury, suffering, distress or death to the prey animal. The term hunting for sport includes hunting with hounds, coursing, pig hunting, bow hunting and all forms of recreational shooting

24 The Australian Dingo The Future.. IT'S TIME FOR CHANGE! There is overwhelming scientific evidence that the Dingo, as our only terrestrial Apex predator is vital for a healthy balanced ecosystem, yet the Dingo is still not even listed in the current Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 The Dingo must be included in this Legislation under it's correct Taxonomy, Canis sp.dingo. Purebred Dingoes, Canis sp.dingo to be 'excluded from declaration' on the 'List of Declared Animals' (Agriculture and related resources Act 1976) There must be uniform FEDERAL legislation giving the Dingo protection as a VULNERABLE NATIVE SPECIES as recognised internationally by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Inhumane & barbaric methods of 'control' must cease immediately! It should not be a defense of law to be legally cruel because of an animal's 'status'.. This is the 21 st century!

25 The Australian Dingo The Future.. IT'S TIME FOR CHANGE! A HALT on all control practices in areas of no pastoral or agricultural significance. The creation of REAL conservation areas in WA where Pure Dingo populations are FULLY protected. The formation of a Conservation and Research establishment in WA, dedicated to the Dingo. A complete and independent review of wild dog / Dingo management programs and practices, with special regards to animal welfare and consideration given to published scientific evidence regarding the Dingo's role in the Australian ecosystem and NET benefits to native Fauna & Flora biodiversity when stable pack structure is retained.

26 Thank You !


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