Wild dogs carry health threats into urban areas

Wild dogs: The risk to human and animal health

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HEALTH RISK: Wild dogs in peri-urban areas can carry diseases that could potentially be transferred to humans and livestock.

HEALTH RISK: Wild dogs in peri-urban areas can carry diseases that could potentially be transferred to humans and livestock.

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Wild dogs in peri-urban areas carry diseases that could potentially be transferred to humans and livestock.

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WILD dogs can live within 1km of urban areas and can carry a number of diseases that could potentially be transferred to humans and livestock.

The new research has prompted new strategies to minimise the risks that wild dogs could pose to human and animal health.

National Wild Dog Management coordinator Greg Mifsud said local authorities have been calling for the need to improve the understanding of the impacts of wild dogs in peri-urban areas so that tailored management strategies and options can be developed for urban land managers.

Wild dogs carry parasites that could lead to diseases in humans.

Wild dogs carry parasites that could lead to diseases in humans.

“The report details a number of recommendations for land managers in both rural and peri-urban areas based on research conducted in south east Queensland and northern NSW,” Mr Mifsud said.

Project leader and senior zoologist with Biosecurity Queensland, Dr Matt Gentle, has been tracking wild dogs in peri-urbans areas over four years.

“We not only found that wild dogs in peri-urban areas were responsible for attacks on livestock, pets and wildlife, but we also found that they were carrying parasites that could lead to diseases in humans, although attacks on people were rare,” Dr Gentle said.

“Given these potential impacts, it is essential that we develop strategies to both communicate and manage this risk in urban areas.

“Our findings recommend the development of a best-practice guide to highlight the strategies, practices and personal protective equipment required to minimise the risks of transmitting diseases to people, livestock and pets.” 

The Centre for Invasive Species Solutions (CISS) has released a report on the research, which formed the basis of a long-term peri-urban wild dog project in northern Australia, funded through the previous Invasive Animals CRC and the Queensland Government.

CLICK to read the full report: ‘Peri-urban wild dogs in north-eastern Australia’. 

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