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Cruelty to dingos on Fraser Island, Queensland

President of the National Dingo Preservation and Recovery Program Inc., research veterinarian and animal research ethics expert, Dr Ian Gunn, has called upon the Queensland Environment Minister, the Hon. Dr Steven Miles, to initiate and independent inquiry into cruelty and mismanagement of the dingo population on Fraser Island as a matter of urgency.

Collaring causing animals distress

Dr Gunn stated that the recent inappropriate collaring of a juvenile dingo, which had obviously put the animal in distress was the latest in a sequence of events which raise serious questions about animal welfare aspects of current dingo management practices on Fraser Island.

This incident involved the use of a cumbersome radio tracking collar on a juvenile dingo, which was purportedly being tracked for public safety reasons. Photographs taken by a tourist clearly show that the edges of the collar had worn away the fur on the dingo’s neck and would have unnecessarily interfered with the young dingo’s mobility and well-being. After pictures of the dingo were made public, the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service decided to remove the collar. However the young dingo was killed by a vehicle strike, incurring massive internal injuries, before the collar could be removed. “These events raise serious animal welfare questions” Dr Gunn said.

Ethics and duplicate tracking devices

Dr Gunn stated: “Why was a radio tracking collar used when ear tag identification was already attached to the dingo? What animal ethics approval had been obtained by the QPWS to use the collar for non-research purposes? If ethics approval was acquired, questions need to be raised about thoroughness of the approval process. Why was a collar also applied to this juvenile dingo’s litter sister, when no radio tracking was intended for that animal? There appears to be no consistent rationale for the use of the collars and serious questions about animal welfare are left without adequate answers”.

Unanswered animal welfare questions

These events follow an incident, in 2015, when another juvenile dingo was ‘humanely’ euthanased after allegedly becoming aggressive. Necropsy photographs obtained through Queensland Right to Information legislation point to severe physical trauma prior to death. Dr Gunn, who conferred with senior veterinary colleagues over the photographic evidence, concluded that the dingo had suffered massive internal bleeding in the abdominal cavity consistent with a heavy blow or impact prior to being put down through lethal injection to the heart. Yet, there is no discussion of this evidence in the inadequate official necropsy report. Dr Gunn stated that: “Again, we have evidence of unacknowledged animal trauma and unanswered animal welfare questions.”

Necropsy report , October 2015

Internal bleeding within abdominal cavity – severe pre-death trauma

Possibly the most serious dingo cruelty incident at the hands of Queensland wildlife authorities occurred on Fraser Island in May 2011, as part of dingo trapping for radio collaring research. The necropsy report for this juvenile male dingo reads like a horror story. Upon examination of the report at the time, Dr Ian Gunn stated:

In all my years as a veterinary surgeon, I have never witnessed anything like this. This animal died in agony while trapped and restrained as part of ‘research’ being conducted by Queensland government authorities charged with its protection. The necropsy report stated that the otherwise healthy dingo had been restrained for ‘some period of time’. It had been pinned down by a pole noose and pinning device. It had chipped and fractured teeth, extensive internal bleeding, including widespread bruising and haemorrhaging to the thorax, limbs, neck and lumbar spine region, bleeding from the eye, tearing of the muscles between the ribs and the chest wall, and congested and collapsed lungs. In its final moments of life, the dingo vomited its stomach contents into its airways.

Necropsy report 2011

The National Dingo Preservation and Recovery Program subsequently sent a solicitors letter to the relevant Queensland government departments and Ministers alleging serious breaches of the law and inadequate animal ethics practices relating to this incident. No acknowledgement was received, let alone action taken. Not one person was held to account.

“It is time for the buck to stop and it has to stop with either the Queensland Environment Minister, or the Federal Minister for the Environment who, because of Fraser Island’s World Heritage Listing, has compliance responsibilities under the EPBC Act”, Dr Gunn said. “The Queensland government’s claim that the Fraser Island dingo population is being managed ‘humanely’ is now in serious doubt. The only way to get to the bottom of this mess and possible cover up is to conduct a genuinely independent animal welfare inquiry into dingo management on Fraser Island.”

Comments

Just when you thought nothing could get WORSE for our maligned Australian dingo, it has. With the "festivals" of eating dog meat in China, this academic came up with the evil and hare-brained idea of cashing in on our Dingoes for meat!
Ben Allen is running a session at a conference held by University of Queensland, to discuss exporting dingo meat to Asia. Please sign the petition below, and if you can, please send it to friends or organisations who you think would find the eating of an Australian native icon – basically eating of a dog – abhorrent. We hope to get thousands of signatures, which we will then take to the University Vice Chancellor and try to have the session pulled from the conference. To sign will only take a minute.

Australian export of Dingo meat for Asian markets?

Ben Allen is Vice-Chancellor's Research Fellow Institute for Agriculture and Environment (Research). The air in his stuffy office must have affected his brain. Where's the ethics of this? We expect Universities to centre of learning, and be leaders in innovation and ethics. He's obviously perverse to think of this obscene idea. The public will never accept any form of "dog meat" industry.

The following are excerpts from Orthodox Christmas in Southern Serbia, Oaks and Casual Cruelties (9/1/18) by Dr. Binoy Kampmark | Global Research. As well as this terrible instance of neglect and cruelty to animals, this article is about the threat of ethnic strife and renewed war between Muslims, Serbs and other ethic groups in the Serbia Town of Bujanovac.

The man, gristle and all ... was spotting a particularly agitated dog, udders swollen and heavy, with disdain. The word was that he had hit that same animal the previous day. The memory stung; the dog, barking with helpless fury, wanted a revenge it could never have, a dish it could never savour.

As the barking continued with increasing agitation, a set of strangled yelps were released, followed by a sequence of piercing howls. The man had deployed his stick once more, having gotten off his perch and metamorphosed into a mobile being. No longer still statue, clothes animated and moving with the corporeal form, this mass was now directing his stick with committed viciousness. The dog, beaten, fled again, its cries weaving through the pot-filled streets of Bujanovac like lengthy stretches of pain.

The scene of casual cruelties in the town of Bujanovac alight along the potted road to the village church in neighbouring Rakovac, a village of Serbs in an area also replete with Albanians and the sound of mosques in prayer.

A puppy blackish and brown, its pygmy presence barely a few weeks old has been abandoned, its doomed cries as it vainly struggles in the damp grass defrosted from the night, bruising to the heart. Some pass by without a glance at this blur of colour, the animal struggling to find his bearings, legs giving way; others register a sorrowful regret at not being able to take the animal home. There are priorities, and the dog as pet is less valued as the dog as guard, soldier and functional protector. Animals shelters where these creatures can be saved are not thought of; the grim reaper shall have his feed tonight.

...

I would like to believe that, if I had been a resident of Bujanovic, amidst the cold, lacking food, firewood and fearing a further outbreak of ethnic strife and war that has been endemic to the region since NATO destroyed Yugoslavia in 1999,that I would have still rescued that dog or at least given it some food and and water and taken the time to show it a little kindness.