Dingo trapping

Native wildlife tormented and killed by the Victorian Government for sheep and cattle farmers

In our latest investigation, partnering with wildlife coalition Defend the Wild, Farm Transparency Project surveilled a trapper employed by the Victorian Government, revealing the brutal capture and killing of native dingoes as a scapegoat for poor animal welfare in the meat, leather and wool industries.

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Native dingoes are being trapped and killed around Australia as part of a misguided and unnecessary program of population control. Hidden cameras show distressed dingoes struggling and crying before being shot with a rifle by the trapper.

The Victorian Government pays for 173 dingo traps to be set every day (daily average of the 2022-23 "wild dog management plan"), largely in an effort to protect the profits of sheep and cattle farmers who claim that dingoes prey on farmed animals, particularly young sheep and cows. However, studies show that 80% of the 10 million lambs who die before they reach weaning age in Australia, do so due to poor animal welfare, and selective breeding practices. Only 7%-8% of lamb mortalities can be attributed to predators such as dingoes, with one study suggesting it could account for as little as 0.12%. Often, the mortalities attributed to dingoes were animals who had already died of other causes.

In their mission to protect sheep and cows long enough to slaughter them for profit, this deceptive framing by animal agriculture industries has painted dingoes as villains. In reality, as Australia’s only native canid, dingoes play a vital role in maintaining ecological balance. Dingoes are incorrectly labeled as 'wild dogs' by Australian meat, leather and wool producers to justify unnecessary programs of slaughter, which include trapping, baiting (including the use of the controversial and ruthless 1080 poison) and bounty programs which reward trappers for every dingo killed.

Killing dingoes through baiting, trapping and shooting causes cascading ecological harm. Dingoes pass on knowledge to their young, meaning that when humans kill the parents or mature dingoes of a pack, young dingoes won’t learn the skills to survive, making them more likely to hunt easier prey, including lambs and calves. In effect, lethal dingo control increases the likelihood of the very problem it’s designed to prevent, making it nothing more than gratuitous cruelty paid for directly by our government.

Regardless of the method of killing, no dingo deserves to be slaughtered in the name of protecting industry profits. 

The investigation followed a trapper named David, employed by the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), in the forests surrounding the town of Mansfield, Victoria. After gathering enough evidence of the cruelty involved, investigators were able to rescue a trapped dingo and relocate him to an interstate sanctuary.

Read more about dingoes and their violent persecution at Defend The Wild, a new coalition of people, organisations and community groups dedicated to the preservation of our natural world, and the protection of the Indigenous animals who call it home.

Thank you to the dedicated investigators who made this investigation and subsequent rescue possible: Alix Livingstone, Chris Delforce, Catriona Marshall, Siena Callander, Jessica Rogers, and Ella Jean.

Take Action

Urge the Andrews government to stop killing threatened native dingoes, via Defend the Wild.

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