Pet dogs and cats could be banned from North Stradbroke Island

PET dogs and cats could be banned from North Stradbroke Island, according to a draft resolution proposed by government and community groups.

INJURED: A domestic dog attack victim from North Stradbroke Island.

INJURED: A domestic dog attack victim from North Stradbroke Island.

The proposal by 17 groups has drawn strong criticism after being leaked via a shop noticeboard and on social media.

Cr Peter Mitchell called for “cool heads” in response and said council had no plans to ban dogs on Minjerrabah.

The proposal was in a discussion document of the North Stradbroke Island Land, Pest and Animal Management Working Group.

The leaked document says that in six months from October last year there had been at least 24 incidents of domestic dog attacks on kangaroos, wallabies and koala, resulting in 23 deaths.

“The camping on Main Beach was closed for several weeks due to activities of rogue domestic dogs,” it says.

“There were also dog attacks on two children and one adult and reports of dog intimidation.

“Photos on social media showed dead glider possums with injuries most likely from cats.”

Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation chief executive Cameron Costello said a pet ban had been discussed before.

“For us this has reached an extreme situation,” he said.

“This is a discussion that needs to be had.”

“We make no apology for standing up when our native wildlife is being massacred.”

Mr Costello said the draft resolution was part of an internal email that requested working group members to comment by April 27.

“It wasn’t a public notice,” he said.

The document says the group agreed on March 20 to work towards phasing out domestic dogs and cats on the island.

An online petition started by Kylie Walmsley opposing a ban had more than 1300 signatures within four days.

She said locals were in favour of protecting wildlife but pets were a part of the family and owning them was a basic human right.

She said many tourists brought pets to the island.

Ms Walmsley suggested a higher pound presence to ensure pets were not roaming without their owners, checks to ensure pets were registered with council and mandatory desexing.

”This issue is one the community will not take lightly,” she said.

Mr Costello said organisations, government agencies and council were part of the working group which had been meeting for years.

They have been involved in fox eradication programs and wildlife signage on the island.

Mr Costello said a ban on pets would require council to amend laws.

He hoped there was another solution but said the situation needed to change.

“As responsible landowners with a legal responsibility, we cannot just sit back and do nothing,” he said.

Mr Costello said the working group acknowledged that most people were responsible pet owners but wildlife could be attacked even in back yards.

“Even when people are 100 per cent responsible there will still be impacts on native wildlife.

“We only have a small population of koalas on North Stradbroke Island. They need to be protected.”

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