Fraser Island
Fraser Island

Push for levy to help control dingoes

DINGO experts believe studies into nonlethal controls of the wild predator could be paid for by a "dingo levy" on dog food.

Dog owners spend about $10 billion a year on pampered pets, Australian researchers say, and they want to exploit our love of dogs to help the dingo.

Under the plan, a levy of $7 a year for every domestic dog in the country would provide about $30 million for dingo research.

But some critics in the livestock industry - where wild dogs cost at least $145 million a year in stock losses - think the only good dingo is a dead dingo and the best control is a bullet or poisoned bait.

In a paper titled Pets and Pests, published by the CSIRO today, six of the nation's top dingo scientists suggest a dingo dog food levy to fund research into non-lethal controls of dingoes.

It comes after a spate of dingo attacks on children and tourists camping on world-­famous Fraser (K'gari) Island, north of Brisbane this year.

"We are tugging at the heart strings a bit,'' co-author Robert Appleby, of Griffith University, said.

"There are a lot of people in Australia who own and love dogs. We're asking them to look into their hearts."

In a recent attack, a 14-month-old boy was dragged from his parents' camper trailer while they were camping near Eurong, Fraser Island, sparking outcry.

He was left with a fractured skull and bites to his head and neck.