The Victorian Government has restored protection for dingoes in the north-west of the state in a move that is welcomed by animal protection organisation Humane Society International (HSI) Australia, who campaigns to save the apex predator.

Dingoes are a threatened species in Victoria but an ‘Unprotection Order’ is in place in many parts of the state which allows landholders to shoot, trap and poison dingoes, without needing to obtain a permit.

Yesterday the ‘Unprotection Order’ was repealed in the north-west of the state to protect a particularly vulnerable dingo population. A bounty scheme which rewards $120 per dingo pelt will also cease in that area. Now landholders in this region will need to apply for a permit if they wish to kill dingoes and they will not be rewarded for it.

Nicola Beynon, Head of Campaigns at HSI Australia said: “HSI Australia has long called for an end to the dingo Unprotection Order and the bounty scheme. We congratulate the Allan Government for bringing these callous and outdated dingo measures to an end in the north-west of Victoria. Now we need to see an end to the Unprotection Order in the rest of the state.

“Dingoes are an important apex predator in the landscape and are of high conservation value due to their cultural significance and evolutionary role in regulating ecosystems. They are intrinsically linked to the health of many ecosystems, and by suppressing cat and fox activity can have a much-needed positive impact on the survival of many other Australian species.

“We are pleased to see funding for landholders to assist with non-lethal measures for dingo management. With native wildlife under serious pressure in our landscapes we can no longer be complacent about their survival, let alone incentivise them being killed.”


As part of this announcement, a $550,000 grant program will be available to landholders to use non-lethal strategies to protect farmed animals on their property.

Last year HSI Australia published a guidebook for landholders called Predator Smart Farming which outlines non-lethal strategies for dingo management. One such strategy is the use of guardian animals, like Maremma dogs and donkeys, to protect farmed animals from predators.

The partial revocation of the Unprotection Order comes as Animals Australia prepares a court case to challenge the Order across the state.

HSI Australia also recognises Dr Kylie Cairns for her important research into dingo genetics in Victoria, which has highlighted the problems with species definitions and so-called ‘wild dog’ culling.

The ‘Unprotection Order’ for the remainder of Victoria is up for renewal on 1 October 2024, and HSI Australia calls on the Victorian Government to replicate what they’ve done for north-west Victoria and protect dingoes state-wide.


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Image credit in banner: Gary Meredith

To download HSI Australia’s Predator Smart Farming Guide, click here.

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