Invasive Weeds & Pests

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  • 1.  Domestic dogs

    Posted 23-06-2022 22:04
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    A serious discussion is needed on domestic animals as invasive species, especially dogs.  Difficult to have, given the current trend to seeing pets as "little people", but it's a discussion that we need to have. How do we address this?

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    Michael O'Keeffe
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  • 2.  RE: Domestic dogs

    Posted 24-06-2022 10:51
    Yes this is a serious issue. In the past few years there's been growing attention paid to the environmental impacts of feral and domestics cats, including a recent parliamentary inquiry that looked at the impacts of both feral and domestic cats. Information from the inquiry report could be communicated to cat owners to help them understand the impacts and how they can help to address them. But as you say, domestic dogs are a bigger problem, with research carried out in Tasmania finding evidence of "domestic dogs having a more deleterious effect than domestic cats on native wildlife." The findings of this research could be communicated to dog owners to increase their awareness of the impacts, and dog owners could also be engaged in the development of workable solutions.

    Holderness-Roddam, B. (2011). The effects of domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) as a disturbance agent on the natural environment (Doctoral dissertation, University of Tasmania).

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    Bruce Boyes
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  • 3.  RE: Domestic dogs

    Posted 25-06-2022 10:19
    I've done years of work on this issue, but the situation is much worse with the continuing dog fetish. Unfortunately there is money to be made in the pet industry.  More from the products than the animals themselves.  It is in the interests of business to encourage irrational behaviour and fetishism because treating dogs as "members of the family" creates a big market for dog versions of people products.  Dog apps, dog clothes, special diets… having been involved in educating people about dog issues, I can't see much progress.  I'm at a loss.  I'm sure I'd be more positive if I were less well informed.

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    RedWren
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  • 4.  RE: Domestic dogs

    Posted 25-06-2022 12:25
    Given that, a possible way forward might be to directly engage the pet industry in helping to educate both people in the pet industry and pet owners. A case study of how this could be done is the work that has been carried out to address the sale of environmental weeds by the nursery industry. This had been a big problem, with many nurseries selling species such as lantana and madeira vine, largely without a full awareness of the potential environmental impacts. However, engagement with the nursery and garden industry has significantly turned this around. At a national level, Nursery and Garden Industry Australia (NGIA) has produced its Grow Me Instead guidance for both the nursery industry and home gardeners. In NSW, Michael Danelon from the Nursery & Garden Industry NSW & ACT (NGINA) did great work in providing effective education and guidance, and he may be able to offer suggestions about how something similar could be done for the pet industry.

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    Bruce Boyes
    https://bruceboyes.info
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