Pet own­ers warned to take care around baited ar­eas

Pilbara News - - Pilbara News - Louise Alling­ham

Pil­bara pet own­ers are be­ing en­cour­aged to muz­zle their an­i­mals or re­frain from bring­ing them to ar­eas that may be baited for feral cats, foxes and wild dogs.

The baits are wrapped in meat so are very ap­peal­ing to dogs.

Baits are left by the Depart­ment of Parks and Wildlife in na­tional parks and by the Pil­bara Re­gional Biose­cu­rity Group on sta­tion ar­eas. Ar­eas baited by DPaW and Pil- bara RBG are well sign­posted, but Ex­mouth Ve­teri­nary Hos­pi­tal vet Megan Gall said there were some un­signed spots that could still carry a risk.

“We had a case where the baits might have been aerial dropped and it might have been on a dif­fer­ent area of the sta­tion from where they were ex­pect­ing,” she said.

“They were closer to the road than any­one ex­pected.”

Ms Gall said pet own­ers should al­ways err on the side of cau­tion as there was no obli­ga­tion for baited pri­vate prop­erty to warn of po­ten­tial poi­sons in the area.

“We tell peo­ple DPaW al­ways have the sign­post­ing, so you just keep your dogs away from those ar­eas, but any­where where you prob­a­bly shouldn’t be or you’re not sure if you should be, there would be ar­eas where you should per­haps muz­zle your dog in case,” she said.

A DPaW spokes­woman said the depart­ment had a strict no pet pol­icy in its State forests, na­tional parks and na­ture re­serves, and laid baits to con­trol in­tro­duced preda­tors such as feral cats and foxes.

Pil­bara RBG drops baits for wild dogs on be­half of pas­toral­ists to pro­tect their live­stock.

Pic­ture: Louise Alling­ham

RIGHT: Peo­ple are be­ing en­cour­aged to leave their dogs at home when ven­tur­ing out to po­ten­tially baited ar­eas.

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