Sunday, 31 January 2016

If you can’t win at least you can laugh

An article about the Dingo appeared in the 1981 Jan-Feb edition of Archery Action. Berenice received two letters in response to the article. It included a number of comments and claims about the dingo and its control including:
  • If, in Central Australia, domestic stock amounts to only 6.5% of a dingoes diet, imagine how high this figure would be if we did not have a dingo fence.
  • You seem to have a few dingo problems there yourself. A shotgun at close range or .222 243, 270 etc at longer ranges will effectively eradicate your problem.
  • Strychnine laced treacle spread on a dingoes path also is very effective when he licks it off his paws.
  • I do not deny that you are trying to preserve a part of Australia's heritage that has been artificially created by the attitudes of uninformed people. I do not wish to see the dingo completely destroyed, but merely controlled. The removal of the dingo from the vermin class is ludicrous. It is definitely vermin. (Note all this was in the same paragraph of the letter)
  • The baits being dropped are 1080 that has been reduced in strength so the dingoes only get sick, but will not take baits again. It is associations such as yours who are responsible for such things as the reduction in 1080 strength.
  • …… the grazier ….. working for his nation and being hampered (severely at times) by a host of ill-informed associations.
  • I own a Dingo-cross bull terrier/blue heeler, who bears more resemblance to a pure bred Dingo than anything. The first sheep he ever saw he ran it through two fences and into a creek before shredding its face into strips of cartilage and tongue. He has repeated this performance twice since that, and taken on a full grown ram without hesitation. The last one he killed was the greatest mess of a sheep I've seen in a long time; its face was so badly mutilated, and moreover the sheep was still alive, and if you reckon the Dingo gets it tough what about the poor bloody sheep; they are alive too, you know.
  • It's not the bull-terrier in him, as I've owned quite a number of them.
  • They are a good dog as a pet, but the killer has to be bred out if there is ever going to be anything pedigree, or there’ll just be killer dogs everywhere. Taking on man and beast.
In reply to the letters Berenice pointed out the material used in the article was taken from the results of a 10 year program of the CSIRO 1966 to 1976, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Dingo Research by A J Oliver, and from programs developed by the Society and its founder since 1974.

She also takes quite a brave stand against the writer recommending the use of strychnine by advising him:  “Strychnine is most irresponsible, as it is illegal, and your name and address have been forwarded on to the Health Commission.”

One of the writers had to have the last say. This is part of his letter:

I also had the misfortune to read your article "A brief guide to Characteristics, Behaviour and Trainability" which leads me to believe you sleep with dingoes!          Due to this I am forced to have serious doubts as to your sanity. I quote "sleeping with a dingo is very warm and comfortable….devotion is shown in many ways…like laying his head on your knees ……   resting his chin on your shoulder for a few moments …..ideally the breed should live in the house as one of the family, taking part in all activities and outings".

The only word for the above is 'sickening', and it shows the decline of human society. How can you possibly include a dingo (merely an idealised killer) as part of a human family? A dog cannot be compared to a child; your whole concept in this article typifies the situation before the fall of the Roman Empire. I am forced to conclude through this article that you have no idea what a real dingo is, or you are so far removed from the reality of the dingo conflict that it is pointless to continue your Society because there appears to be unrealistic people involved in a conflict that involves a compromise between two cooperating human parties.

Berenice’s response was simply: “You can't win them all, but at least we try - and will keep on trying.”

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