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Call for new approach to dingoes on Fraser Island

CONCERN ABOUT DINGO DEATH: A dingo is photographed near a bait bucket on a beach at Fraser Island.
CONCERN ABOUT DINGO DEATH: A dingo is photographed near a bait bucket on a beach at Fraser Island. Save The Fraser Island Dingoes

THE Save the Fraser Island Dingoes group has hit out at the State Government over the latest dingo death on the island.

The dingo was humanely destroyed on New Year's Day after a series of aggressive encounters with tourists on the island during the school holidays.

The Save the Fraser Island Dingo group released a statement about the death of the dingo, saying the destruction of the animals was unacceptable, "both on conservation and compassionate grounds".

"Tourists need to be responsible for their own personal safety and an 'enter at own risk' policy implemented," the statement said.

The dingo that was destroyed had lunged at an 11-year-old girl who was swimming at Eli Creek, a spokesman for Queensland Parks and Wildlife said.

The statement criticised QPWS for seeking to "manage" dingoes rather than conserve and protect the animals.

"The holiday period on Fraser Island is a perilous and dangerous time for the wildlife, with the influx of tourists on the island encounters with dingoes are likely, and the result is always the same, animals are destroyed and visitors are rarely held accountable for their behaviour," the statement said.

The statement expressed concern about the "coding" of the dingoes and said it felt that any dingo that ventured near a person was labelled aggressive.

"Animals are coded A to E according to their crime, a misdemeanour, such as loitering near a campground or watching fishers is a Code C and the dingo is classified as a nuisance," the statement said.

"Code E is nipping and the animal is destroyed.

"It seems all human contact is being classified as aggression.

"The codes are usually applied according to tourist observations. Tourists who have never seen a dingo before and have no knowledge of dingo behaviour.

"Tourists who are encouraged to report any sighting, be it an animal walking along the beach or sniffing a bait bucket."

QPWS was contacted for a response but had not responded at the time of going to press.

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