Families fear wild dog packs
WHEN a neighbour was mauled by a pack of wild dogs, a Dyraaba family is taking extra precautions to keep their children safe.
And an experienced wild dog trapper said the problem is out of control and a lack of government action is putting people at risk.
The Ryan family who live near Jane Smith are so concerned they accompany their children outside at all times.
Mrs Ryan, her husband and four children and five pet dogs on a property which backs onto a forest which appears to support many feral animals.
"We have been on this property for 23 years and while we have had wild dogs here from time to time, it's been just the odd one or two and never in such large packs,” she said.
"The kids (aged 6 to18) are frightened after what happened to our neighbour.”
Mrs Ryan said the devastating news of the attack has concerned everyone in the tight-knit community.
Craig Aleckson, 44, also farms at Dyraaba, said his dad a recent close call.
"Early January my father and I were checking fences, we found some cattle had got out and were bringing them back and I saw a dog come out of the bush fairly motoring flat,” he said.
"I'm yelling to my dad to say 'dog coming' and when he turned the dog was about three foot away with barred teeth and growling, my dad was pretty white.”
Experienced local trapper, Bill Crisp from Tracs Wild Dog Management said he's concerned someone will be injured or even killed.
Mr Crisp said he's been inundated with messaged from landholders about the increase in number and ferocity of wild dogs in the region.
"I had a couple of dozen text and phone calls today from people about the story,” he said.
"The problem is out of control, a massive failure by Local Land Services and it's an appalling situation where we sit now. Thank goodness for the lady who had the courage to speak out about her attacks and give other people the confidence to talk about this.”
Mr Crisp said he believed some blame had to be attributed to government mismanagement including a bait-only focus.
"If the baits were working, we wouldn't be having this conversation,” he said.
Local Land Services spokesman Dean Chamberlain, said the responsibility goes back to landholders.
He said there's no one silver bullet, but 1080 poison was the most effective solution.
"Some dogs are only spending a few days in each part of their patch of the landscape of 3000-4000Ha,” he said.
"A lot properties, may be only 100Ha so more people need to be involved to get the results.”
Member for Lismore Thomas George said avenues such as trapping and scalp bounties need to be investigated.
"What's happening is not acceptable and I will be making further representation to LLS about this enormous problem,” he said.
"I have grave concerns about the use of 1080 baits in closely populated area and I don't think we have keep abreast of the best techniques to continue to control the wild dog problem.”