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Shooting wild dogs

Shooting can be a humane method of destroying wild dogs when it is carried out by experienced, skilled and responsible shooters.

Shooting is an opportunistic control method, mostly used for small populations or individual problem animals.

Humane shooting

For humane killing, target the animal's brain or the heart.

The 3 shooting methods recommended for destroying the brain are:

  • frontal method - aim horizontally at the point of intersection of lines taken from the base of each ear to the opposite eye.
  • temporal method - aim horizontally from the side of the head at the point midway between the eye and the base of the ear
  • poll method - aim behind the head at a point midway along a line drawn from the base of each ear.

For heart shots, aim at the forward chest, above the point of the elbow.

The law on shooting wild dogs worrying livestock

While you can legally shoot a wild dog, you cannot shoot a roaming domestic dog unless you meet the following requirements:

  • You have the necessary firearms licence and use the firearm according to state firearms laws.
  • You reasonably believe the dog is attacking, or is likely to attack, your livestock and is not under someone's control.
  • You live on land that is subject to a rural fire levy.
  • You comply with other laws such as the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001.

Landholders can use private contractors to shoot wild dogs, providing they have the appropriate licences and follow legal conditions for use of weapons.

Firearms licensing

It is mandatory in Queensland for all users of weapons to hold a current firearms licence. In general terms, a weapon includes a gun or other thing ordinarily described as a firearm in the Weapons Act 1990.

Queensland Police Weapons Licensing can advise on licence types and conditions.