This position paper was recently reviewed (as at January 2012).
- The Fraser Island Dingo Management Strategy (FIDMS) 2001 was developed by the Department of the Environment and Resource Management (DEHP), previously the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with the primary objectives of protecting and managing the Fraser Island Dingo (FID) in the interest of preserving the species in the wild, ensuring the safety of residents and visitors to the island and reducing human wildlife interactions.
- The management strategy was seen by DEHP as an alternative to large scale culling of the dingoes.
- RSPCA Queensland has not been given any legislative powers under law to interfere with the management of the Fraser Island dingoes. However, under the Animal Care and Protection Act, 2001 RSPCA Queensland has the power and duty to investigate acts of cruelty.
- This document outlines RSPCA Queensland’s position in relation to the FIDMS and the organisation’s role in addressing specific animal welfare concerns arising from the FIDMS.
2. RSPCA Queensland’s Position on the FIDMS
- 1.RSPCA Queensland recognises the necessity for appropriate, government-regulated management of wild populations of animals where the management strategies employed are:
a) In the interest of preserving the bio-diversity of natural ecosystems, and
b) Where animal welfare or human safety is of concern
(Refer RSPCA Australia Policies E2)
- RSPCA Queensland considers the FIDMS to be a necessary management plan that is regulated under current legislation in the interest of preserving the FID in the long term in a humane way while meeting the Queensland Government’s duty of care obligations regarding human safety.
- RSPCA Queensland supports the rigid reporting conditions placed on DEHP by the FIDMS with respect to dingo attacks and any capture and destruction of dingoes involved in these attacks or for any other reason.
- RSPCA Queensland considers the FIDMS a preferred option to mass culling of Fraser Island dingoes as a reaction to any incident involving dingo attacks on humans.
(Refer RSPCA Australia Policies E2.9.3 )
- RSPCA Queensland considers there are currently no viable alternatives to the broad management strategies employed by the FIDMS however strongly recommends any viable alternatives to better ensure animal welfare are considered by the regulatory authority as new information or scientific data becomes available.
(Refer RSPCA Australia Policies E2)
- RSPCA Queensland recommends that the implementation of the FIDMS and any changes to the FIDMS be regularly reviewed by an independent Animal Ethics Committee (AEC) to ensure full consideration of any animal welfare concerns.
- RSPCA Queensland recommends that the current regulatory authority responsible for the FIDMS, the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DEHP), provide for continued RSPCA involvement as a key stakeholder.
- RSPCA Qld recognises that under the Animal Care and Protection Act, 2001 wild animals are not subject to the duty of care provisions. Therefore, no breaches of duty of care can be investigated or brought against anyone while an animal is living freely in the wild. However, if an animal has been trapped, anaesthetised or otherwise restrained, then the person carrying out the restraint or the person in charge does have a duty of care for that animal.
- Under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 cruelty involves a person or persons carrying out an act, deemed cruel, against an animal. RSPCA Queensland will investigate any reported acts of cruelty to Fraser Island dingoes.
- In the event that there is sufficient evidence to support a charge of cruelty against dingoes, RSPCA will progress the matter through the prosecution process.