‘Cruel’ dingo collars continue to raise public hackles
A CALL to ban tracking collars on Fraser (K'gari) Island dingoes has secured more than 11,200 signatures in what a Sunshine Coast wildlife advocate says sends a clear message to the State Government.
Connect 2 wildlife 4 environment operator Marie-Louise Sarjeant said her change.org petition continues to grow amid widespread concerns for the welfare of these animals.
Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch has been calle on to "look into the cumbersome collars now on two or more Fraser Island dingoes and asking to have them immediately removed" by Ms Sarjeant.
She said photographs of one dingo indicated it is "visibly suffering and deteriorating" building the case for these collars never to be used again.
"In this photo taken by a visitor to the island you can clearly see she is really suffering. This is unacceptable cruelty," Ms Sargeant said.
She believes the dingoes, apart from a GPS tracker, have been fitted with an aversion collar giving the dingo an electric shock which "is completely unacceptable and cruel".
"Putting this type of collar on is concerning as it was put on her during mating season in 2019," Ms Sarjeant said.
"What a horrible time to put it on her while there is dingo rivalry and she is trying to work out her new boundaries.
"People observing her and that includes visitors to the island can see she is suffering and visibly deteriorating."
Ms Sargeant is concerned the collars are used for a year, which is much too long and an "appalling look for Australia, with visitors to the island seeing this animal cruelty".
"This is not best practice, it offers no necessary information and has all the hallmarks of experimental human interference," Ms Sargeant said.
"There is enough information already collected on these dingoes over the decades.
"There is much better equipment around, than this draconian outdated stock collar," Ms Sarjeant said
Previously when these collar concerns have ben raised, a spokesman for the Department of Environment and Science said Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) uses lightweight ear tags and tracking collars (global positioning system) to monitor wongari (dingo) movements on K'gari (Fraser Island).
"Data from tracking collars is used by QPWS to better understand the species, improve management strategies and help keep dingoes, residents and visitors to K'gari safe," they said.
They said the collars did not disadvantaged or restricted the dingoes, and both animals have been observed by rangers successfully hunting and interacting with other dingoes.
"QPWS rangers closely monitor animals wearing a collar and will remove the collar if the animal's condition is negatively impacted," they said.
"Tracking collars have been used to monitor dingoes since 2011. The use of tracking collars is an established and accepted practice and is approved by an independent Animal Ethics Committee."
The DES spokesman said the device provided valuable behavioural information, especially during the COVID lockdown.
"The female who has been wearing a collar for 12 months has provided unique, never before witnessed intelligence about her seasonal movements," he said.
"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to observe behavioural changes throughout the closure of K'gari in an absence of people, and her current behaviour with the return of visitors and campers."