Gunfire sends Dingo Sanctuary owner to hospital
ON HEARING a deafening blast, Simon Stretton, owner of the Durong Dingo Sanctuary, immediately felt a sharp pain radiating through his chest.
"I was outside and these shots went off. And because I've got a heart condition, next thing it was like boom, right in there," said Mr Stretton, gesturing to his chest.
"I got these chest pains and I lost my breath."
Promptly calling triple-0, paramedics arrived to take Mr Stretton to Kingaroy hospital, where he spent the day undergoing cardiac tests.
The fright caused by the unanticipated blast had triggered an Angina attack.
According to Mr Stretton, a neighbour has been firing a high powered 22.243 rifle, which produces an explosive sound that radiated throughout the Dingo sanctuary.
In addition to triggering Mr Stretton's pre-existing heart condition, he has expressed concern for the wellbeing of his dingoes, who on several occasions have jumped into the electric fence surrounding their enclosure in an effort to escape the gunfire, causing them to yelp in pain.
While Mr Stretton is aware that his neighbours use of a gun on his own property is legal under Queensland law, he said he intended to continue pursuing the matter with police and the council until the wellbeing of his animals, and himself, can be assured.
"The law in Queensland says that if a property is 40 acres or more, you are allowed to shoot on it. So that's the legal bit. Whereas I'm thinking forget the legal bit. How about we look at common sense," said Mr Stretton.
"There is no legal action we can take, unless I'm about to my take a personal one."
"The thing is, I feel helpless, because no one will help me. And I can't help my animals."
Mr Stretton's solicitor, Marilyn Nuske, has sent a letter to the South Burnett Regional Council, outlining concerns for the sanctuary and his health.
According to the Queensland Weapons Act 1990, "genuine reasons for possession of a weapon" include:
• Sport or target shooting;
• Recreational shooting;
• An occupational requirement, including an occupational requirement for rural purposes; and
• Collection by a collector of weapons.
Hunting is permitted on private property where written permission has been given and the property is of sufficient area to shoot safely.