Daily fight against dogs

22 Jan, 2015 01:00 AM
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East Maya wheat and sheep farmer Peter Waterhouse displays the purebred male dingo he shot last week after losing 30 sheep in 10 days to wild dogs.
East Maya wheat and sheep farmer Peter Waterhouse displays the purebred male dingo he shot last week after losing 30 sheep in 10 days to wild dogs.

THIRTY sheep killed by wild dogs and dingoes in 10 days has farmer Peter Waterhouse patrolling his East Maya wheat and sheep property with a shotgun at dawn and dusk each day.

On Thursday evening last week his vigilance paid off and one of the probable killers that had been harrying his 1000 Merino ewes and 500 wethers met its match.

The male dingo, surprised and shot by Mr Waterhouse as it headed across the wheat stubble towards the sheep, was some 1.8 metres from nose to tail tip.

"He was huge, he would have weighed between 40 and 50 kilograms - closer to 50 I'd reckon," Mr Waterhouse said this week.

"They've (dingoes) been back around here for about three weeks.

"I've lost 30 sheep in about 10 days.

"I had to shoot two that had been grabbed around the neck and pulled down and another half a dozen look like they've been bitten on the legs.''

To help control the problem the Dalwallinu, Perenjori and Koorda shires have combined with the Central Wheatbelt Declared Species Group (DSG) for the past three years to hire a dogger to hunt wild dogs.

"The dogger trapped a dingo on my property last week but there's more still out there,'' Mr Waterhouse said.

"I saw another big one, about the same size as the one I shot, last (Sunday) night and this morning (Monday) I heard three howling."

Mr Waterhouse said a neighbour had lost five sheep and there were reports of a lot of paw prints on either side of the State barrier fence to the east.

"All the pastoral properties further out to the east have destocked (sheep) so the dingoes are coming closer in for water and stock," he said.

"The fence is obviously not stopping them.

"They've been a problem for five or six years, they disappear about April and come back about this time each year.

"The State Government should be paying for the dogger, not the shires."

Central Wheatbelt DSG dogger co-ordinator, Wubin farmer and local Primaries agent Russell Macpherson said Royalties for Regions (RfR) funding provided by the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) had helped pay for the dogger, along with the shires' contributions.

"He's a good dogger, he's got about 100 so far," Mr Macpherson said.

DAFWA last year completed significant upgrades of the barrier fence, including closing a 170 kilometre section to the north of Southern Cross known as the Yilgarn Gap and installing lap wire to 820km of the existing fence to bring it up to a wild dog-resistant standard.

The upgrades were funded through the RfR program.

Central region DAFWA biosecurity officer Gary McDonald said the lap wire upgrade, the Central Wheatbelt DSG support and its dogger meant that "for the majority of landholders, significant inroads are being made into the wild dog issue".

"Within the State barrier fence, wild dogs can still cause damage to sheep but the occurrences are more isolated," Mr McDonald said.

He said RfR covered half the cost of the dogger who operated along the barrier fence and adjacent Wheatbelt areas for 200 days a year and the DSG also provided a part-time dogger.

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FarmWeekly
Mal Gill

Mal Gill

is wool and dairy writer for Farm Weekly
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READER COMMENTS

Dinogsimon
22/01/2015 7:14:34 AM, on Farm Weekly

Please get your facts straight. Dingoes never grow to 50 kg. That is a wild dog. I agree , all wild dogs should be killed, preferably by a single bullet to the head, not thru baiting or trapping as that is inhumane, but dingoes should be left alone.
Nunya
22/01/2015 7:41:22 AM, on Farm Weekly

50kg? Seriously? Strong bloke to be able to lift 50kg like that. More like 25-30kg. Think he's been on too many fishing trips.. "It Waaas Thiiiis BIG!"...
Sally G
22/01/2015 8:19:47 AM, on Queensland Country Life

How do you know it's a purebred dingo? Colouring doesn't mean anything.
Dingo Lady
22/01/2015 1:21:42 PM, on Farm Weekly

More likely the animal in question is his neighbors hunting dog. Only way there would be an animal of 50KG. Can't stand these hysterical farmers who fabricate this copy. Pity he does not invest in a few Marremas then there would be no problem.
Dingo muma
23/01/2015 6:32:31 AM, on Farm Weekly

To my knowledge pure dingoes do not get this big! Male dingoes generally only get to about 25 kg. My female is 17 kg and that is heavier than a wild female.Our whole meat market needs to change. Cows are really bad for our environment, not sure about she. If more people ate kangaroos instead of cattle our environment would improve, kangaroos would not get out of hand and the health benefits of kangas are large.I can't see anything changing though. The general population are greedy and would not want to make these changes.
Mark
27/02/2015 12:20:37 PM, on Farm Weekly

It is very cruel what is going on out there with dogs . He is a big dog not good hybrid I as a dogger no this too well if there was a decent government they would not let all this Money go to scientific crap n paid a good bounty I would gladly travel n full time trap for producers . I'm in the same boat here no dog bounty in our shire but all around us have it stupid . But I trap n eradicate the dogs any ways at my own cost thanks for nothing government / council
steve brook
28/02/2015 6:51:53 AM, on Stock & Land

Very easy to comment on the poor dingo,, they are cruel and anyone who hasn't farmed would not understand what its like to see your ewes killed... get in the real world
anti dingo
14/03/2015 12:24:25 PM, on The Land

Reading all the comments makes me mad, all up in arms about a dingo being shot, yet none of you dog lovers is out there shooting the farmers' sheep or compensating him for his losses, yet you want to set rules and regulation about how to deal with a problem. None of you have the guts to eliminate or the know how. I don't care if it's a dingo, x-bred or a wild dog, if the are hungry they will kill your sheep. so shoot the thing if you see him, you only have 1 chance. you only kill the dumb ones with baiting.
Dont shoot dingos
19/03/2015 1:28:35 PM, on Farm Weekly

No one is saying sheep being attacked is okay. But the method of killing dogs is not okay either. Being up in arms about a dingo is absolutely on the nose. So anti dingo you are clearly anti animal, anti decency. Wonder why people are anti farmer?
Jan
25/09/2015 6:46:16 PM, on Farm Weekly

I saw a very similar dog today off goodlands road near where there is power lines it was circling and barking/yodelling at us, we were just tourists going to camp there looking at the wreath flowers scared the heck out of us and came way too close, thought it might have been a stray,was a big dog and I am used to dogs but this was nota happy camper either

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