Deer carcasses feed and breed wild dogs

Deer carcasses feed and breed wild dogs

Environment Minister, Lily DʼAmbrosio, has confirmed she is ʻfeeding and breedingʼ wild dogs in East Gippsland, according to local Member, Tim Bull.

In response to a question from Mr Bull, the Minister confirmed a Parks Victoria deer culling program allowed shooters to leave deer carcasses where they fall.

“However what showed just how out of touch this Minister is, was the following comment where she stated: ʻwhile wild dogs visit deer carcasses during the recreational hunting season, the primary mode of decomposition for the carcasses was through invertebrates, as opposed to consumption by wild dogsʼ,” Mr Bull said.

“I can assure the Minister they do more than ʻvisitʼ carcasses. When this response was received, the person who raised it quickly got the proof of what we already know – the dogs are feeding on the carcasses (see photographs).

“Iʼm not sure what Ms DʼAmbrosioʼs definition of an invertebrate is, but these are mighty big invertebrates.”

Mr Bull said landholders in the area face an ongoing battle against the predations of wild dogs on their livestock and are aghast the deer cull was providing an easy meal for the dogs.

“They realise a reliable food source assists with breeding numbers and they are also aware it is beneficial to feral pigs and foxes as well,” Mr Bull said.

“In her response, the Minister said the carcasess were only removed when they had ʻno impact on visual amenity or water qualityʼ, otherwise will be left ʻwhere they fallʼ.

“The fact it is out of sight out mind for the Minister is just not good enough as she clearly has no idea about the food source aspect.

“In addition to that, I am also told they are being left adjacent to waterways.

“I am advised that at least 300 to 400 deer have been culled under this program, possibly more.

“Feral deer are a serious problem, but without carcass disposal it is reducing the numbers of one invasive species to the benefit of others that are far more damaging.”

Mr Bull said farmers wonʼt allow recreational shooters on to their property unless they remove the carcasses for the very reason they know it provides a food source.

Shadow Agriculture Minister, Peter Walsh, said this just confirms fears that the Andrews Governmentʼs mismanagement of problem deer is quite literally feeding wild dogs and fox populations.

“We all know the devastation wild dogs in particular cause to native fauna and farm animals, as well as the angst they create for farmers, so this ʻvisiting carcassesʼ response is just an absolute, out of touch insult,” Mr Walsh said.

“The Minister has basically set up an all-you-can-eat buffet for these horrific predators.”

Mr Bull said he will be going back to the Minister with a request that all deer carcasses are removed under the program and if that means fewer deer being culled, then that would be an acceptable trade off.

PICTURED: Wild dogs have been photographed feeding off deer carcasses, despite Minister for Environment, Lily DʼAmbrosio, stating carcasses decompose “through invertebrates, as opposed to consumption by wild dogs”.