MEDIA RELEASE: friends, not foe: dingoes to be protected in NSW if Animal Justice Party bill passes



Upper House MP for the Animal Justice Party Mark Pearson has introduced a controversial bill to New South Wales Parliament that would ban the killing of dingoes.


If passed, the Dingo Cultural Heritage and Protection Bill 2022 would protect all dingoes from lethal control, including shooting, trapping and baiting.


“I introduce [this bill] in the hope that the 200-year on dingoes will cease. We must take dingo fences down, end lethal controls and allow dingoes to perform their important ecological function,” Mr Pearson began his speech on Wednesday.


The bill has been drafted with the understanding that the dingo has a dual role of being culturally significant for Indigenous people as well as a key species for maintaining ecological health and biodiversity” he said.


The bill sets up a mechanism for the development of a dingo heritage management plan, which identifies the heritage value of dingo populations to First Nations people while also identifying the value of dingoes in regulating trophic cascades and maintaining biological diversity. 


In drafting the bill, Mr Pearson consulted with various stakeholders including scientists and First Nations Elders, and drew on the most recent scientific research on the genetics and ecological role of dingoes.


Science tells us that the dingo appeared on the Australian continent sometime between 10,000 and 4,700 years ago [and] have maintained a symbiotic partnership with Indigenous people over thousands of years,” Mr Pearson said in his speech.


We need to put away the rifles and the traps, throw out the poison pellets and allow dingoes to once again take their place as apex predators helping to restore the balance in our degraded ecosystems.”


The bill defines a dingo as an animal that breeds in the wild in Australia, and is of the genus Canis, including the species Canis dingo, Canis lupus dingo, or Canis familiaris (dingo) or a hybrid of all those species.


Mr Pearson said the bill defines dingo in “very broad terms” in order to “sidestep the debate about when a wild canid is a dingo”.


He says the latest research indicates wild dogs are not widespread in Australia, but are rather dingoes or dingo hybrids.


“Dr Kylie Cairns, a molecular ecologist with experience in population genetics, published a study which found that after collating the results of DNA testing from 5,039 wild canids, only 31 wild domestic dogs were detected,” he said.


Media contact:
Elena Wewer – 0428 444 132 – text preferred