Questions over missing cattle dog
A CATTLE dog that escaped from a home on Fraser Island last month could be dead.
Department of Environment and Resource Management regional manager Peter Wright yesterday said because of the dog’s poor health it has most probably died.
“Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers are keeping a look out for the escaped dog, however there have been no reported sightings and due to its age and ill health it is believed it is unlikely that the dog is still alive,” Mr Wright said.
“The cattle dog is believed to be a desexed male around 13 years of age,” Mr Wright revealed. “It is believed to have arthritis and poor eye sight and hearing.”
Mr Wright said the department could not make public the name of the owners due to privacy reasons however he did confirm that they would be fined.
It is not known how much the fine will be or when it will be issued, however DERM is still investigating the situation.
The Chronicle asked DERM, on behalf of a letter writer, “why Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service can pursue errant dingoes but are not pursuing this dog?”
Mr Wright responded: “QPWS rangers pursue dingoes that pose a threat to humans. This is an old cattle dog that poses no threat to human safety.”
The dog escaped from Eurong on December 26 raising fears it could spread a potentially deadly disease through the island’s dingo population.
On December 31 however QPWS regional manager Rob Allan said the owners of the dog had told the service it had been vaccinated with Canine C5, which protects against parvovirus, distemper, canine hepatitis, canine Para influenza virus and bordetella.
At the time, QPWS said it would not be searching for the pet, which was thought to have breeched a dingo fence, because it could be anywhere.
Mr Allan believes the animal was brought to the island illegally because domestic dogs are prohibited from the World Heritage-listed tourist attraction.
Fraser Island Dingo Preservation Group Chair Bree Jashin described the situation as a “significant threat” to dingoes while Fraser Island Association president David Anderson said it had the potential to create an “ecological disaster”.
The Chronicle has received a number of Letters to the Editor expressing suspicion about the escape of the dog into dingo territory.
Some writers have suggested if the owners are not named and their animal’s records not made public, the owners could be perceived to be in league in some way with DERM.
One letter writer, Debra Mills, said the story of the escaped dog “reeks of sinister underlines”.
She went on to say: “...Everyone I speak to suspects there are those hell-bent on eradicating the dingoes off their island habitat.
“The sure demise of these now rare purebred dingoes will go down in history as one of the greatest mismanaged events of our era...