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Dingo died 'a cruel' death

Documents reveal a dingo trapped on Fraser Island last year died a slow, painful death.
Documents reveal a dingo trapped on Fraser Island last year died a slow, painful death.

THE necropsy report is chilling in describing the "horror story" death of a Fraser Island dingo during a government-sanctioned experiment last year.

The coolly professional wording exposes a terrifying ordeal suffered by a noose-bound animal struggling so intensely to breathe that it tore the muscles of its ribs and chest wall.

The incident occurred under the ministerial responsibility of then Environment Minister Kate Jones, who did not respond to The Gympie Times yesterday.

National Dingo Preservation and Recovery Program vice-president Ian Gunn said the report was "like a horror story".

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service regional manager Ross Belcher denied claims that the fatal experiment did not have ethics approval at the time, but Save Fraser Island Dingoes vice-president Jennifer Parkhurst says the QPWS had not been able to produce the document even in August and had assured SFID representatives that the dingoes did not suffer from QPWS trapping methods.

Both Mr Belcher and Environment Minister Vicky Darling said the death was an isolated incident. Ms Darling said: "All research programs undertaken by DERM are done in accordance with best practice animal welfare principles."

The report details the animal suffered extensive bruising, particularly around the throat and genitals, as well as haemorrhaging to the thorax, limbs, neck, eye and lumbar spine region. It appeared to have struggled vigorously against strangulation, while being restrained with "a pole-noose and a pinning device".

The dingo was previously in good condition, according to a necropsy report history written last May by ranger Linda Behrendorff, who is extensively quoted in the latest Australian Geographic magazine, expressing anger at claims of dingo mistreatment.

"We get the RSPCA and the ethics committee involved and I put my fingers in traps to show them that it doesn't hurt the animal," she told the magazine.

Topics:  death dingo fraser island injuries veterinarians

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