Dingoes butcher prized sheep
FARMERS want a new approach to wild dog problems after a number of fatal attacks on pets and livestock in the Gympie region.
Sue McMah of Marlin Park graziers in Brooloo sold her breeding cows last year because she couldn't keep the calves alive. Now her purebred sheep have been killed despite every effort to keep them safe inside sheds and behind sturdy fences.
Ms McMah said if the State Government didn't change its approach to the wild dog problems of Queensland, residents of outlying suburban areas may face fatal attacks on their pets.
Sue McMah kept her Demera sheep in a shed with the lights on and the radio going, yet the dingoes got in and slaughtered a ewe.
They only got the one that time, but when it happened again, Ms McMah moved the herd into a dog-proof training yard, built of heavy duty deer fencing.
One week later she was confronted with the terrible sight of dead sheep and ripped and torn survivors. The dogs had forced their way into the yard by putting pressure on the bottom wires to strip out the tie wire and get in.
Injuries to the animals ranged from skin stripped from the shoulder to the knee, severed legs and big, gaping bite wounds.
“I have lost over $2000 worth of purebred sheep in just two weeks,” Ms McMah told The Gympie Times.
“I have moved my dogs out of their pens and that's where the sheep are housed as from yesterday. There is nowhere else I can put them until I can look at putting in very expensive electrified mesh fencing.”
The sheep were booked to appear in dog trials in a major fundraiser for Angel Flight held at Rainbow Beach in October.
However, Ms McMah said by the way it looked, they wouldn't get there.
“We have a massive wild dog problem in our area up on Kenilworth Bluff and the Imbil State Forest.
“We run steers at present which has lessened the attack threat on our livestock but we still contend with cattle being chased through fences on a regular basis.”
The threat of dingo attacks on livestock is a growing problem for Queensland farmers who are “fed up” with the red tape involved in getting a “proper baiting program” in place to cull the dingoes.
“The wild dog problem is absolutely out of control and it gets worse by the day,” Ms McMah said.
“At present it is almost impossible to have a proper dog baiting programme in place... There is so much red tape involved that nearly everyone just walks away from the current set of laws.
“The State Government is ignoring a massive and growing problem that is costing the rural industry millions every year.
“If I had the time I would dump these carcasses on Anna Bligh's driveway and let her face the horrific site that I was faced with.”
Ms McMah called for Gympie residents to mobilise together in lobbying the State Government to address the growing dingo problem.
“People need to speak out to the State Government before more livestock is lost and pets are killed in suburban areas.”