FURY: A wild dog caught in a trap.
FURY: A wild dog caught in a trap. Contributed Rokawilddogs

Is 1080 baiting too cruel even for wild dogs?

GYMPIE Regional Council will run its bi-annual 1080 baiting program for the first fortnight of May, but the use of 1080 is still a divisive issue throughout the region.

Former Division 3 council candidate Leonora Cox said feral pest species must be eradicated, but the risk 1080 posed to native wildlife and pets were too great.

"I don't disagree with the fact we've got to get the wild dogs, but by using something like 1080 you've got a dog carcass that's lying around and there are other animals, birds, insects and everything that feed on that," Ms Cox said.

She said 1080 poisoning was crueller than shooting or trapping.

"The way they die is just horrific," she said.

"It can take up to 20 hours for them to die, and they're frothing at the mouth, they're quivering, they're fitting, and it's just revolting."

Council is encouraging eligible landholders to join the baiting campaign and attend a designated "baiting station" to prepare baits on assigned days.

Mayor Mick Curran said local farmers need 1080 baiting programs.

"The amount of damage that feral animals and pests do to the agricultural industry, we're more than happy to run these programs," Cr Curran said.

He said strict safeguards and training minimised any risks.

Should 1080 bait be used to combat wild dogs?

This poll ended on 21 April 2016.

Current Results

Yes. The problem is bigger than the chemical


No. The impacts on wildlife are too great


No. It takes too long for the dogs to die


Don't know enough about it


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries describes 1080 baiting as the most cost-effective method for wide-scale reduction of pest species, and the most target-specific toxin available.

Native animals are usually less susceptible to 1080, as it is found naturally in poisonous native plants and most wildlife have developed some resistance to the toxin.

The likelihood of an animal being poisoned after feeding on a poisoned carcass depends on the dose used for the first animal, the tolerance of the second animal, which part of the carcass is consumed, and how long the first animal had 1080 in its system.

Ms Cox said trapping and shooting could manage pest species.

"A lot of people are saying they're too hard to trap and they're too hard to shoot, but if you get experts and that's what they do... they're very good at it," she said.

Gympie Times readers on social media expressed concern for their own pets' safety.

Dogs poisoned by 1080 generally show symptoms including convulsions, barking or whimpering and uncontrollable running.

There is no effective antidote for 1080, but purging and sedation can help the body metabolise the poison.


YOUR SAY: READERS on both sides of the 1080 debate fired up on social media on Tuesday when The Gympie Times shared Leonora Cox's letter to the editor.

Chantelle Dunphy knows the ugly side of baiting better than most after losing her three dogs to 1080 poisoning.

"Our three border collie dogs were killed by 1080 baiting when a crow scavenged the bait and brought it into our property," she wrote.

"I watched the way they died. It's the most cruel, painful, torturous way for an animal to die. The vet could do nothing to help as the poison is so toxic to canines. No animal should die like that, not even a feral animal. There are other ways to control feral dogs other than 1080 that are much more humane, such as shooting. 1080 baiting is a form of animal torture."

Tiff Tiff had a more critical take on Ms Cox's letter to the editor yesterday.

"I bet she doesn't get woken up several times of a night from foxes and wild dogs fighting near your bedroom window, or because someones pet has been taken by the pest and the pet is squealing from being tormented and eventually killed," she said.

"Or cleaning up dead animals around the yard because these feral dogs have had a feast. She probably doesn't have people pointing the finger at her because of the noises that come from this every single night. I live not even five minutes from the center of Gympie. If we could bait these feral animals then I would in a heartbeat. Gympies policy on pest treatment is lacking, and that's why the problem is so big."

Steve Kelly thought 1080 was only suitable in circumstances where other methods were ineffective.

"As a pest tech and shooter 1080 bait is only suitable for large remote properties in my view," he wrote.

"Far better using cage traps in rural residential areas as this way animals are caught alive and totally unharmed."

Ed Mann said baiting should be used in conjuction with other pest management methods.

"1080 baiting should be viewed as another tool in pest management, along with shooting, trapping, pig dogging etc," he wrote.