Old news from Armidale and New England

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Native dogs

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Australian Town and Country Journal (NSW : 1870 – 1907), Wednesday 10 June 1903

Native Dogs.

In several districts around Armidale, such as Borrolong and Cooney Creek, the settlers have formed associations to protect themselves against the ravages of the native dogs, which are very destructive among the sheep (writes our Armidale correspondent). These associations offer high bonuses in many instances for the scalps of the pests, but are unable to keep them down, consequently the sheep have to be folded at night in the worst places, and woe betide the stragglers left out in the muster, for nothing but the partly-devoured carcase will be found the next morning.

A considerable amount of money has been spent in erecting dog-proof fences, but even this is not always effective, as it is very difficult, especially in the falls country, to make it snug and tight, and the cunning brutes soon find out the weak places in the fences. In the cattle country, however, the landowners do not go to any trouble or expense to get rid of the dogs, and as a consequence, they are to be seen in droves, and are a menace even to persons travelling about.

Opossum-shooters and trappers state that these wild animals got so bold as to follow the men about within 20yd or 30yd of them, and it is a common thing to find the snares cleared of the opossums by the dogs. They state that parts of the country are becoming overrun by the pests, owing to no inducement being offered to destroy them, nothing whatever being offered for the scalps.

If a uniform price was offered by all the stock boards, it would pay men to go out and kill them, but under existing circumstances there is nothing to do but to let them increase and multiply. It is a common thing to see young cattle torn about by the posts, and the stockowners appear to be quite unconcerned about the matter. It is asserted that the apathy of the big landowners is due to a desire on their part to got rid of the small land owners in those localities, as, by allowing the dogs to increase, they will become so menacing that the small men will be driven out of their holdings.

It is contended that an Act should be passed compelling landowners to take steps to clear their properties of native dogs, just the same as they are compelled to deal with rabbits; but, better still, the stock boards should be made to fix a price per scalp, which would encourage the destruction of the pests, and thereby find employment for a goodly number of men. This is a question our legislators might give a little attention to.

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Written by macalba

April 23, 2013 at 8:57 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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