1080 aka Sodium Monofluoroacetate
I'd never heard of it before living here, now it gives me nightmares.
Its a highly toxic substance used to bait wild dogs (and other animals) in this area. It is injected into little pieces of dried meat resembling beef jerky and aerial drops of 'baits' are made from planes or station owners/ CALM officers lay baits on properties.
I appreciate the stock loss problems that wild dogs cause, but 1080 baits aren't the answer.
This substance has no antidote. Its ingestion results in a prolonged inhumane revolting death that is horrifying to witness. Unfortunately its victims are not always the intended recipients.
Today I tried to help a couple who had come rushing to the hospital with their beautiful much-loved Blue Heeler dog that was convulsing.
I knew there was no hope - the dog displayed the classic signs of baiting. I've been in the same situation at the hospital at least 10 times previously, watching as a much loved pet runs around madly squealing like its in agony, before dropping and arching their back in complete full body spasm, drooling and foaming from the mouth then convulsing uncontrollably. Unfortunately it doesn't stop there. This awful sequence of events continues in a macabre cycle which can go on for hours. The nearest vet is 2.5 hours away. People present with their sick dogs crying and pleading for someone to help... I always try but there is nothing I can do except to sedate the dog or euthanase it - I'm not qualified to do either but I can't bare to watch the pain and suffering. Todays doggie died within 20 minutes, I gave her sedation and cuddled her in a blanket until she died then wrapped her up for her owners.
Its bloody horrible and it always leaves me completely disturbed for days afterwards.
I'm off to cuddle my doggies (I haven't let them out of my sight all afternoon).
R.I.P Blue Heeler