Monday 11 January 2016
Dingo advocates need to be a more united force.
In her first book written in 1979 Berenice Walters observed: "In areas where the dingo has been eradicated, there has been an alarming build-up of grass eating species, indicating the importance of the role played by our native dog in maintaining the delicate balance of nature."
She continues: "The dingo is classed as a noxious animal throughout Australia, its extermination is mandatory and its keeping by private individuals is illegal. Prior to 1966, no comprehensive scientific study had been made of the dingo. Its reputation as a predator of domestic stock, based largely on exaggerated reports, pure supposition and myth, led to the cruel and unnecessary persecution of this native Australian."
At the time there were only a handful of people like Berenice who were passionate about getting the Dingo a better name but most thought she was crazy to believe that this hated and wanton killer had any redeeming traits.
Today there are many more who believe in the Dingo and are working hard to promote its true gentle, loving characteristics; its vital role as the apex predator and the need for it to be acknowledged and protected as an Australian animal.
She would be very proud of those who are fighting so hard on its behalf and elated at its relatively new taxonomy of Canis Dingo. She would be sitting back with a smile as more and more scientists and academics come forward proving what the early Dingo supporters believed.
Yet I believe that there is one area that she would be very disappointed and that is the lack of unity of Dingo supporters. There are many more now than in Berenice's time and yet we are still fighting for the same things she and her contemporaries did.
Along with most other people who cherish the dingo I want to see its national recognition, preservation and acceptance of its role as apex predator. I am sure that every dingo person agrees on these points:
The dingo has been maligned for far too long and deserves to take its rightful place as a uniquely Australian animal and be protected at a national level.
The dingo’s role as an apex predator preserves other declining species and helps reduce feral species that prey on small threatened marsupials.
Where control of wild dogs, or any feral or invasive species for that matter, is required it needs to be undertaken using kind control methods. We need to get the barbaric trapping, shooting and poisoning out of this country.
Where I have concern is that it appears to me some dingo advocates, including some dingo preservation groups, have private agendas and put their own personal aims before that of the national issues.
For the sake of the dingo we need to put aside personal differences and make the dingo itself the highest priority.