Tuesday 7 March 2023

Berenice Condemns Poison and Shooting

In a letter to the Sun Newspaper in the 1970s Berenice wrote scathingly of the planned aerial baiting and its contamination of the environment. She mentioned particularly the cruelty of winter baiting, trapping, and shooting.

The Dingo whelps in the late autumn or early winter. The reason given for aerial baiting in the late winter was that it was the time when the dingo was most savage. 

But this is the time the parents are searching for food for their pups, and they don't go far from their den.

Being hungry they would be more likely to take a bait, and of course, the pups left to starve to death in the den, or if older, and as they have been so often seen, wandering through the bush starving, crying for their parents, or dead from starvation.

The society received countless phone calls from persons who had seen helpless pups in the bush dead or dying. 

A head official of a graziers Association rang and severely criticised her "one sided criticism" after failing to interest her in a litter of pups he had taken from the north coast. She also mentioned the slaughter of kangaroos.

"We hate to do this," said the hunter, "but they [kangaroos] are reaching plague proportions".

So, he kept on shooting the roos with 22 rifles. These are cheaper to fire than a high powered weapon, but generally only maim. The hunters would then go around killing off the wounded animals, or those they could find.

Berenice believed this type of culling leads to greater numbers in forthcoming seasons - fewer animals, more feed, more animals. She further believed the answer to many of the problems is proper fences to keep kangaroos out of pasture improved properties. With the roo restricted to leaner pastures, nature will control the birth rate naturally.

She wrote that if these unfortunate animals must be slaughtered at least high powered weapons should be used, an instant and humane death.

She also mentioned the disgusting sight of pigs being torn to pieces by dogs specially bred for savagery, and aggressiveness.

And yet the poor Dingo, and wolf, nature's weapons for culling the sick and weak, completely devoid of the stamina and savage courage, is delegated to the bottom of the pack - on the one hand derisively condemned because of its cowardice on the other hand accused of the most mind staggering feats of savagery and wanton killing. 

She often commented that she firmly believed it is only the domestic dogs, bred in man's own image, that would be capable of these horrific attacks on stock and humans.

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