An alliance of Indigenous, landholder and conservation organisations has called on state and federal governments to stop the killing of Dingoes on public lands. The call follows the release of a new national study on the genetics of wild canids in Australia by University of New South Wales researchers.   

The study led by Dr. Kylie Cairns analysed the DNA of 306 so called ‘Wild Dogs’ killed from across the country and found that none had pure domestic dog ancestry. The significant majority, 70% were pure Dingo ancestry, 15% had more than 93% Dingo ancestry, and the remaining 15% were 55-93% Dingo ancestry.   

This study confirms recent earlier assessments that so called ‘Wild Dogs’ – domestic dog breeds gone feral, living wild and breeding in the bush – are probably non-existent, and that overwhelmingly wild canids in the Australian bush are pure Dingoes, or animals which have mostly Dingo ancestry.  

Melinda Browning, Australian Dingo Foundation said:“This latest research begs the question as to why indiscriminate broadscale poisoning, trapping and shooting of remnant populations of dingoes is still legal. This wholesale killing of dingoes operates under the guise of ‘wild dog control’ and is driven by Australian Wool Innovation, Meat & Livestock Australia, and state agriculture departments. Unlike cats, domestic dogs have lost their instincts to survive and breed in the wild, so the current war on ‘Wild Dogs’ is actually a war on Dingoes. This needs to stop for the Dingoes’ sake and for threatened native species that rely on the protection of Dingoes from introduced predators (foxes and feral cats) for their very survival.  

Sonya Takau, Dingo Culture said: “Indigenous peoples are deeply concerned about the ongoing killing of Dingoes, which are deeply connected culturally to our lives. We want this indiscriminate killing to stop, most especially on public lands, on which in many cases we have been formally granted native title rights.”  

Dr. Louise Boronyak, Humane Society International Australia said: “Most appalling of all is that killing programs, including dropping of aerial baits, still occur in national parks. Large scale government programs to kill Dingoes occur on public land in Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. A staggering 579,000 poisoned baits were dropped aerially across multiple NSW national parks and nature reserves during 2020 and 2021, according to the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. The continued use of poison on public lands constitutes an animal welfare crisis and causes prolonged suffering of the animals that consume the baits. It is also ecologically reckless and lethal control on public lands should cease immediately. Non-lethal tools and practices as part of Predator Smart Farming protect both livestock and dingoes from harm.”  

Dr. Barry Traill, Landholders for Dingoes said: “There is increasing evidence that for cattle producers, there are higher business returns from keeping Dingoes on the farm- as they remove feral herbivores and help control numbers of large kangaroos. Sheep and domestic goats are more vulnerable to predation by Dingoes but killing them on often distant public lands is not justified. More research, funding and support needs to be made available for non-lethal methods of protection such as guardian animals, non-lethal deterrents and wildlife friendly but predator proof fencing.”  

The combined organisations in the National Dingo Alliance are calling for governments and land managers of all types to fundamentally reconsider their management of Dingoes. As a foundation the Alliance is calling for the immediate cessation of the mass killing of Dingoes on public lands. 

For media comment: Mel Browning on 0414 322 443 or Dr. Louise Boronyak on 0490 372 122 


A Summary of the most recent research by University of New South Wales 

About the National Dingo Alliance: The members of the National Dingo Alliance have diverse interests in Dingo protection and management. Indigenous culture (Dingo Culture), graziers (Landholders for Dingoes), conservation and animal welfare organisations (Humane Society International Australia & Australian Dingo Foundation) have recently formed the alliance. The alliance strongly advocates for the cessation of killing of Dingoes on public lands. 

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