Friday, July 15, 2016

Tasmanian dog owner prosecuted for fatal penguin attacks

By Laura Beavis
Dead penguin at Stanley in bush
Photo: More than 30 little penguins have been killed by dogs in the area in recent months. (Supplied: Parks and Wildlife)
The owner of two dogs is being prosecuted after the deaths of 18 little penguins at Stanley on Tasmania's north-west coast.
The dead penguins were discovered near a rookery on Friday, in the same place 14 little penguins were killed by dogs in June.
Parks and Wildlife state compliance coordinator Justin Helmich said forensic examination of the dead penguins indicated dogs were again involved.
"While there is no evidence to link this attack to other recent attacks on the north-west coast, it is extremely disturbing that it appears once again, that dogs have been responsible for a large number of penguin deaths," he said.

"As a result of that investigation, a number of people have been interviewed and an infringement notice has been issued in respect of a number of dog control related offences."
Two dogs are understood to have been involved and their owner has been charged with having a dog at large.
The Circular Head Council was considering further proceedings in relation to the dogs.
Mr Helmich urged dog owners to be vigilant and prevent their animals from roaming on the beach.
"We are asking the community to ensure their dogs are kept in secure yards and not allowed to roam unsupervised," he said.
"If dogs are found to be harming penguins, dogs may be seized, impounded and declared a dangerous dog."

Penguin deaths ongoing problem in region

Following the penguin deaths at Stanley last month, Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson suggested an army sniper be station on the beach to protect the animals.
Senator Whish-Wilson said dog owners should be warned in a letter drop that their dogs will be shot if found wandering alone on the beach.
Parks and Wildlife rejected the suggestion, and said it would instead continue to work with local authorities to prevent attacks on the penguins.
The RSPCA and the Circular Head Council were also not supportive of the proposal.
In February, an 18-year-old man from Sulphur Creek and a 15-year-old youth from Penguin were prosecuted for killing nine penguins at Sulphur Creek near Burnie.
They were charged with taking protective wildlife and causing unreasonable or unjustifiable pain and suffering to an animal.


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