Attack dogs put down but wallabies still at risk
TWO dogs filmed attacking dozens of wallabies on Cairns' northern beaches have been put down, but the battle to protect the marsupials from further grief is far from over.
Cairns Regional Council obtained footage last fortnight of two dogs - believed to be a bull arab and a pit bull - mauling agile wallabies in the Trinity Beach Sporting Complex.
The attacks followed the deaths of more than 50 of the marsupials in the sporting precinct, the cause of which had remained a mystery.
A council spokesman confirmed yesterday that the dogs had been euthanised.
"The owners were fined for allowing the dogs to escape from their property," he said.
"The fines issued were $266 for each dog."
Conflicts between humans and agile wallabies have been ongoing at Trinity Beach and Kewarra Beach for many years.
Conservationists claim development in the two suburbs has reduced the marsupials' habitat, forcing them into suburbia.
Cairns AFL president Gary Young was not surprised the dogs had been euthanised by the council, but did not believe it would be the end of the wallaby issue on the Trinity Beach football oval.
"We still need a solution to the overabundance of wallabies out there," he said.
"It's no good.
"The longer some people get antagonised, they will start to take the law into their own hands."
The Agile Project co-ordinator Shai Ager said since the dogs had been taken into the council's custody, one to two wallabies were still being found every day on the sporting fields that looked to have died from dog attacks.
"I would hope the actions council took (euthanising the dogs and fining the owners) encourage people to keep their pets safely secured in the confines of their home, to ensure pets don't escape and kill native animals," she said.
"I don't personally have an opinion on whether it was right or wrong.
"Although there hasn't been a mass killing again, like the 26 dead, the deaths haven't stopped.
"More wallabies are still being attacked by dogs on the sporting fields."