Travellers – keep pets safe around baits

The D'Alton family said Fifi is a great camper, and although she didn't like the muzzle - it was her first time - she tolerated it when needed - Image Gail D'Alton
The D'Alton family said Fifi is a great camper, and although she didn't like the muzzle - it was her first time - she tolerated it when needed - Image Gail D'Alton

We received sad news from a traveller of the loss of two dogs due to baiting. We thought we would remind Australian travellers to be aware, in case 1080 baiting programs are underway in the area. 

Baits are distributed throughout Australia for wild dog, dingo, rabbit or wild cat control. Signs should be up in locations where this occurs. Help out other pet owners by adding a review to the site (in the Camps Australia Wide App), so they can be extra cautious or avoid the area. Stations may have a dog policy, e.g. all dogs accompanying visitors MUST BE kept on a leash and are the full responsibility of the owners.

These guidelines from Western Australia may help prevent loss of your furry family member:

  1. Keep your pets on a lead or fitted with a muzzle at all times, particularly if you stop on the side of the road, in a parking bay or overnight camping area.
  2. Don’t let your pet scavenge for food and remember pets are not allowed to be taken into national parks where baiting is often undertaken.
  3. Keep an eye out for signs indicating 1080 baits are being used in the area.

Those travelling along the Eyre Highway from Southern Cross to Eucla and in the Pilbara, Kimberley and Carnarvon regions should be particularly aware to prevent accidental pet poisoning.

The 1080 baits are used in WA’s agricultural and pastoral regions to control feral pests such as foxes, wild dogs and rabbits.

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development invasive species policy officer Andrew Reeves said baiting was important to protect livestock and native animals from attacks by wild dogs.

“Landholders generally bait in autumn and spring to protect livestock and crops, however, travellers should be aware that baiting can occur year-round and a cautious approach must be taken when travelling with domestic pets,” Mr Reeves said.

“Baits are placed away from roadsides and warning signs will be in place at property entry points, however, pet owners may not always see warning signs when exercising their dogs.

“The 1080 bait is used because most native animals have a degree of tolerance to the chemical as it is found naturally in some plants.

“However, if ingested by domestic pets, such as cats and dogs, it can be fatal, which is why we are reminding travellers to be aware of their surroundings.”

Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions pests program coordinator, Dennis Rafferty said the 1080 meat baits were attractive even to well-trained pets, especially dogs.

Travellers who suspect their pet has taken bait should induce vomiting and immediately seek veterinary assistance.

Visit here for more tips: travel with pets

More information on baiting programs, or check with the state government where you are travelling:

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