Dingoes should not be punished with death because of the mistakes humans are making, NSW Upper House MP for the Animal Justice Party Mark Pearson has said the Legislative Council chamber.
In a Member’s Statement to Parliament, Mr Pearson commented on MidCoast Council’s recent killing of five dingoes after an apparent “escalation in negative interactions”.
“To the credit of MidCoast Council, its senior ecologist Mat Bell at least admitted that this change in dingo behaviour was due to residents and visitors feeding the dingoes,” Mr Pearson said in the speech on May 5, 2021.
“People are moving further into dingo habitat, foolishly trying to interact with them, and then blaming them when they show aggression while defending themselves and their pups—a crime apparently punishable by death.”
Mr Pearson said people need to learn more about dingoes and how to appropriately interact with them.
“To do this we need to address the myth that dingoes are vicious attackers,” he said.
Mr Pearson cites dingo experts Dr David Jenkins and Lyn Watson as describing dingoes as timid and curious animals who, when confronted “will choose fight or flight every time”.
“The dingo’s lack of protection under the law in New South Wales means dingoes are victim to government-funded baiting, trapping, ‘wild dog’ fencing and, perhaps most revealing of all, hunting bounties and the ongoing use of 1080 poison,” he said.
“Dingoes are not the calculating, vicious killers in this conflict—we are.”
One supporter on Facebook commented with her experience with the family of slain dingoes:
“I was there the week before this family of dingoes were killed. They were timid and curious and they didn’t t bother us. They were beautiful to watch. The caravan park had a small sign asking visitors not to feed the dingoes but clearly some people ignored this. Perhaps one thing that could happen is for the notices to visitors to tell them that if dingoes are fed by visitors there is a very real chance that the dingo will be killed by NPWS or the local council. People need to understand that their actions have consequences and in the case of the dingoes it could be the death of this important native animal.”
Mr Pearson said this is something he supports wholeheartedly.
He has been campaigning for a ban of 1080 poison, and for dingoes to be protected under the Biodiversity Conservation Act.
The dingo is the only Australian mammal not protected under the Act.