An example of wild dog baits being prepared with poison. Photo: File/Adam Head
An example of wild dog baits being prepared with poison. Photo: File/Adam Head

Timely reminder on rules around controversial poison

Gin Gin Police Officer in Charge Sergeant Sharon Morgan has issued a timely reminder that access to 1080 is highly restricted in the wake of a suspected baiting incident in the area recently.

Owners of the Green Acres Hobby Farm in Moolboolaman, near Gin Gin, have called for the poison to be banned in Australia after two of their dogs died from what they believe was ingesting the bait.

"Toxin 1080 is subject to strict regulatory control administered by Queensland Health and the penalties for the misuse of 1080 are prescribed by the Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996," Sgt Morgan said.

According to Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, only approved DAF officers and local government officers who have undertaken practical and written examinations, and received approval from Queensland Health, are permitted to obtain 1080 concentrate used to prepare and supply 1080 baits.

Toxin 1080 can only be supplied as prepared baits for the purpose of controlling defined feral animals and cannot be supplied to the public.

Sgt Morgan said any landowners who wanted to participate in the baiting program must inform their local authorised officer.

"We encourage you to reach out to your local council who will be able to provide the details of authorised officers in your area," Sgt Morgan said.

"By undertaking this process, the authorised officer will require information about the landowners property size and where the baits are intended to be located."

A 'deed poll undertaking in relation to the possession and use of prepared baits' form must be completed upon receipt of the baits.

By signing the deed poll, the landowner agrees to comply with the requirements for the use of the baits and indemnify the state and local government against any claims or losses.

Sgt Morgan said failure to comply with any conditions in the deed poll (or additional conditions prescribed by the authorised officer) may result in the withdrawal of future bait preparation services.

"We can't say the recent baiting case was deliberate, however it is a timely reminder to the community about the strict requirements for 1080 to ensure the safety of the community and to reduce the risk of accidental poisoning," Sgt Morgan said.

A Bundaberg Regional Council spokesperson said the council undertakes co-ordinated baiting programs in March/April and August/September each year to control wild dogs.

"The use of 1080 is strictly regulated by the State Government," the spokesperson said.

"Wild dogs cost the agricultural sector millions of dollars in control and lost production."

With regards to the death of two dogs in Moolboolaman the spokesperson said there was "no evidence that 1080 from the baiting program killed domestic dogs in this instance".

It was reported that the dog's owners suspect the bait was possibly carried onto their land by a bird following a Bundaberg Regional Council-approved baiting day on August 13.

"The nearest participating property was several kilometres away," the spokesperson said.

"The chance of a bird carrying a bait that distance is highly unlikely.

"Even secondary poisoning caused by a wild dog picking up a bait and walking that distance and dying is highly unlikely."