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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Buffer prevents livestock slaughter

The local member for Benambra, Bill Tilley, is concerned that legislation aimed at safeguarding livestock from wild dogs may be abolished, and he believes that the promised consultation with Upper Murray residents is merely tokenism.

Representing the Northern Victoria Region, Wendy Lovell, raised her concerns in the Victorian Parliament last Wednesday, accusing the state government of succumbing to misguided propaganda from lobby groups without engaging with affected farmers.

In September, the Agriculture and Environment Ministers agreed to extend the Declaration of the Dingo as Unprotected Wildlife for 12 months, permitting dog controllers to bait and trap wild dogs within 3 kilometers of farm boundaries on public land.

The 3-kilometer livestock buffer has significantly reduced dog attacks since its inception in 2012. Ms. Lovell argued that despite previous renewals lasting five years, the current one-year extension was introduced to allow time for consultation on “emerging research” suggesting that all wild dogs are dingoes and warrant protection.

However, she dismissed this research as unreliable, citing its association with the Dingo Foundation and the limited representation of North East dogs in the study of 307 canines from across Australia. She lamented the lack of progress in consultation halfway through the 12-month study period.

Residents who endured the anguish before the buffer zone’s implementation can attest to its efficacy in protecting livestock. They recount incidents of animals left maimed, the toll on their mental well-being, and the impact on native fauna in the years preceding 2012.

Tilley warned that without the buffer, the Upper Murray region would become a killing ground. Trappers would be confined to private land, leaving dogs free to prey on livestock from the bush, reminiscent of past horrors.

He criticized the emerging research as left-wing propaganda and expressed concerns that the government might have already conceded to its findings. He emphasized the importance of listening to those with firsthand experience before making any decisions.

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