Increasing numbers of wild dogs and roaming domestic dogs are causing problems across the northern rivers region. To combat the problem seven northern river councils (NOROC) have partnered with National Parks and Wildlife, the Livestock Health and Pest Authority and the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre to implement a dog education campaign.
The main aims of the project are to improve the level of responsible pet ownership and to increase the active wild dog management. A recent survey showed that up to 70% of wild dog sightings are not reported. To ensure adequate resources are available to manage the wild dog problem all sightings need to be reported.
The estimated cost of wild dogs on agriculture nationally is $48.5 M per year. Wild dogs injure and kill a variety of livestock and are capable of preying on animals as large as a water buffalo. Roaming domestic dogs also attack livestock so please ensure that your dogs are under control or secured in a yard at all times.
Wild dogs prey on a large variety of native animals including birds, reptiles mammals and even insects. They prefer to eat small to medium sized mammals. Last year Friends of the Koala reported that there were there were 15 mortalities from 28 reported dog attacks on Koalas across the Northern Rivers. These figures include attacks by domestic dogs.
Human health: Hydatid disease
As well as the effects on livestock and wildlife, wild dogs can cause serious health problems Wild dogs carry diseases including the Hydatid disease which can be transmitted to humans and domestic dogs. The disease is so serious in humans that it requires surgery for treatment.
All wild dogs sightings and roaming domestic dogs should be reported as soon as possible so that problems can be adequately managed.
· If you see or hear wild dogs, call the Livestock Health and Pest Authority Lismore (6621 2317), Casino (6662 3166) or Grafton (6642 3699).
· Incidents with domestic dogs should be reported to your (insert details of your local council)
· PestSmart Wild dog fact sheets, videos and brochures http://www.feral.org.au/pestsmart/wild-dogs/
· Livestock health and Pest Authority http://www.lhpa.org.au/districts/northcoast
· Hydatids disease NSW DPI http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/109986/hydatids-you-too-can-be-affected.pdf
· NOROC http://noroc.com.au/