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Colin Barnett

Killing dingoes to make way for goats

The destruction of dingoes has taken place in Australia since the first white man set foot on our shores and continues today. Pastoralism and dingoes have never been a good mix however non-lethal methods of protecting stock are being used by a few enlightened pastoralists. The Australian dingo suffers from an image problem due to several factors including a myth that it is not truly a native animal in this country. Many studies have demonstrated however that dingoes are a crucial component in maintaining biodiversity in Australian ecosystems - where there are dingoes there are more small native mammals and less foxes, cats, rabbits, goats and pigs. Dingo predation of kangaroos is an important relationship for both animals yet this is ignored by kangaroo meat advocates as it does not fit into the "green" message they are trying to sell. Given the dingoes key role as a top-order predator, why is the West Australian government employing full time doggers to shoot, trap and poison dingoes to protect feral goats?

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