Wild dog vs calf

Host: Undoolya Station
Written by Nikita Hayes

Living so close to Alice Springs we have a really big problem with wild dogs. We are roughly 20 minutes from the border of town and we surround the whole east side. Like all stations and farms, we all have pests, whether it be dogs, cats, foxes, horses or camels.

Some people may have seen my Facebook or Instagram post from last year – I posted a video of a pack of dogs attacking a calf. Before the dogs arrived I was seeing how far my camera could zoom in, just as I was about to stop recording I noticed that the cow was looking at something. It was then that I saw 2 dogs walking past her, and then another two arrived in the shot. They ran straight for the calf, one grabbed the back end, another the nose, while the others were trying to tire it out, they eventually got the calf to the ground. Just after that I stopped recording and quickly drove down the hill where I was. I got there in time to stop the dogs from doing a lot to damage to the calf – it had trotted off with just a sore leg.

After I posted the photos and the video I was bombarded with death threats, and abuse, because I was holding a dead wild dog.

The reason I videoed it and didn’t drive there straight away was because so many people that I talk to don’t realize how much damage these dogs do, to not only stations but also people in the town of Alice Springs.

Alice Springs is surrounded by a lot of bush land. There are walking tracks that people walk their domestic dog on and a wild dog will slowly follow behind and even start to stalk the pet and the human. Some people have had their pets attacked and killed by the wild dogs and it’s not just one wild dog, it’s a whole pack.

In the last year I had seen 15 wild dogs in the town and some were just trotting around the Coles car park, McDonalds, and down suburban streets. Most wild dogs are coming from the aboriginal communities, or from people that get puppies and decide that they can’t look after them. Dingo-cross dogs will breed with the regular town dogs, and they range from Jack Russel’s, Bull Mastiffs and even Kelpies.

In my opinion and experience I think that wild dogs should be culled, not to the point where they are extinct, but numbers reduced, because they are attacking pets, livestock and even people at times. On the station last year I had seen 115 wild dogs, and all I think about is how many I haven’t seen? How many are actually out there not only killing cattle, but native animals?

Wild dogs wont just kill cattle for food but also for fun, they will take the back end out of an animal, and they will shred the nose.

I don’t see my job as a job but as my life, and these dogs are a threat to not only that but my future too. The cattle we breed are for human consumption, and if we have wild dogs killing them and leaving them half dead then our numbers start to drop, it’s not just the station that it affects, it’s the people too. I’ve been around my bores and seen cattle, some dead and some alive still, some with the dogs still there eating them alive. It’s hard to have to put a calf or a cow down because of wild dogs. It’s upsetting and it really gets into your head that this is life, but something needs to be done.

Not all people will agree with me, some will, this is my opinion.