WIRES Mid-South Coast asks owners to leash pets in response to dog attacks on native animals

This badly-wounded goanna had to be put down after a dog attack. Photo: Kay Mallitt.

This badly-wounded goanna had to be put down after a dog attack. Photo: Kay Mallitt.

WIRES Mid-South Coast has urgently asked dog owners to keep their pets on leashes during bushwalks, after the agency responded to a number of callouts for wildlife injured in dog attacks.

In March, WIRES had a callout when a juvenile kangaroo was attacked by a greyhound in Kioloa, but it was dead by the time a rescuer arrived.

Until July 2019, all pet greyhounds in NSW were legally required to wear a muzzle in public unless they had completed an approved retraining program.

But, this was changed as part of the government's "commitment to improving living standards and rehoming rates for greyhounds".

Registered pet greyhounds now do not have to wear a muzzle unless they are in an off-leash area and have not done the approved training.

Greyhounds are not the only dogs that attack wildlife, and WIRES has responded to other call outs, including for a brushtail possum in Moruya which had to be euthanised.

Animals that are subject to dog attacks may also die of shock or infection from the injuries inflicted.

Although these injuries may not look too bad at first sight, it is important to call WIRES on 1300 094 737 or get them to a vet as soon as possible.

A Tasmanian study and a separate Victorian study both found dogs caused more wildlife injuries and deaths than cats and were second only to motor vehicles in the carnage they caused.

This is why it is important that owners keep their dogs on leashes when they are away from home.

Penalties of up to $10,000 apply for any dog owner in NSW if their dog "rushes at, attacks, bites, harasses or chases any person or animal (other than vermin), whether or not any injury is caused to the person or animal".

If the attack is "as a result of a reckless act or omission by the dog's owner or another person in charge of the dog at the time of the attack," the penalty is up to $22,000 and/or up to 2 years in prison.

This story Dog attacks on native animals spark calls for leashes first appeared on Bay Post-Moruya Examiner.

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