Trapping campaign targets wild dogs

Date published: 13 June 2017

A ‘howler’ will be used for the first time this year as part of Townsville City Council’s wild dog trapping program, aimed at controlling wild dog numbers in the city’s urban and rural areas.

The ‘howler’ was installed on Castle Hill today, and has been designed to lure wild dogs to trap locations using recorded distress calls of animals and the howls of dogs.

Community Health and Environment Committee chair Cr Ann-Maree Greaney said the sounds were designed to be realistic.

“This may cause some residents to think an animal is in distress however, we urge you not to investigate and instead, contact council on 13 48 10 for advice,” Cr Greaney said.

Cr Greaney said council was highly proactive in tackling wild dogs, with trapping in targeted locations carried out twice a year.

“This is the time of year when wild dogs breed and are more active, increasing our chances for a successful campaign,” Cr Greaney said.

“Wild dogs will always be present in our city and our campaigns aim to reduce the incidents of conflict between them and the community.

“It’s important that residents keep pets properly housed and under restraint in public at all times during this period, and avoid areas where there is signage advising of trapping.

“In rural areas, wild dogs can do a lot of damage to stock, poultry and other domesticated animals and when they move into the fringes of residential areas they can pose a serious risk to pets and public safety.

“The council takes the issue very seriously and we advise the public to report sightings straight away.”

Trapping will also be carried out in areas where dogs move from bushland to the urban fringe while 1080 baiting will occur in rural areas only and in partnership with land owners and neighbouring councils.

Last year a total of 90 wild dogs and 8 feral pigs were trapped during the council’s trapping program.

The council also conducts spot trapping throughout the year in response to threats of wild dogs to the community.

All trapped dogs are humanely euthanized. Under Queensland State law, the dogs are a declared pest and cannot be legally removed or re-released elsewhere.