Hinchinbrook MP, Andrew Cripps, has thrown his support behind Hinchinbrook Shire Council’s (HSC) efforts to eradicate feral goats on Pelorus Island by temporarily introducing dingoes, describing the program as innovative and practical.
Mr Cripps said criticism of the plan ignored the fact the feral goats were damaging the environment on the island, other methods of eradication had been tried and proven unsuccessful and that expert advice had been used to develop the program.
“This is not a fast and loose operation – Council has engaged expert scientists from the University of Southern Queensland and it’s been approved by the Animal Ethics Committee of the Department of Agriculture– it’s all above board” said Mr Cripps.
“The use of the ‘1080’ controlled release delivery system to control the introduced dingoes utilises a wild dog control product that is already in widespread use across Queensland – a fact people criticising this program also need to understand” he said.
Mr Cripps said the HSC had previously spent ratepayers and taxpayers funds on trapping, aerial shooting and other programs to control the feral goats on Pelorus Island without success and the introduction of a biological control was an innovative idea.
“The feral goats are creating erosion problems on the island by over-grazing the native vegetation and are out-competing native animals for access to food, so I think this practical approach from Council officers is positive for the environment”.
“Once the dingoes have dealt with the feral goats, being an introduced on to the island common sense says they also have to go, so the controlled 1080 release system is a common sense, cost effective and logistically achievable approach”.
Mr Cripps encouraged those criticising the HSC program on Pelorus Island with a limited understanding of the challenges and constraints around dealing with feral animals and pest weeds in the Australian environment to become better informed.