Brisbane City Council to install covert cameras at dog parks

This packet of empty rat bait was allegedly found next to a bin inside a popular dog park in Carina Monday afternoon. Courtesy: Facebook

COVERT cameras will be installed at undisclosed dog parks in Brisbane in the aftermath of the “tragic” dog baiting deaths in recent days.

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner announced this morning that Brisbane City Council would establish covert cameras across different dog off-leash areas to help catch offenders.

“It really makes me feel sick that people are doing this,” he said.

“We’re working with the police but we want to make sure people know that if they’re doing these cruel acts they will be caught.

“There are cameras across Brisbane we’re not going to go into details on where those cameras will be located.

He urged residents to keep their eyes open for anything suspicious and ensure their dogs do not eat anything off the ground.

Cr Schrinner’s announcement comes after Labor spokeswoman for Lifestyle, Community Services and the Arts Kara Cook called for cameras to be installed yesterday following “disturbing reports” that baits had also been found in Hawthorne.
“At long last, this is the outcome devastated dog owners have been waiting for,” she said.

“I’m happy for them but it should never have required the LNP Lord Mayor to be publicly shamed for him to act.

“We need to see these cameras installed urgently so that not one more dog is murdered.”

The Lord Mayor’s announcement follows another alleged find of rat bait at another Brisbane dog park late Monday.

A woman, who did not want to be named, said her mother took a photo of a packet of an empty packet of rat bait found near a bin inside the popular Meadowlands Road Dog Park in Carina about 5pm Monday.

“It was an older man who found the packet, I just happened to share the photo (on social media), she said.

The woman said her mother, Maria, had taken her 1-year-old Maltese-poodle cross down to the small dog park when a man approached her and showed her the rat bait packet.

“Then someone came over from the big dog park and said he had found meat with bait in it.

“Then there was a mass evacuation of the dog park,” she said.

Ryan Murphy, councillor for Chandler Ward, who also shared the photo on his Facebook page, said he was “absolutely appalled at the baiting attacks across Brisbane.”

He said council officers had searched the park about 7pm Monday, but did not find anything.

“It’s one of the most biggest and popular dog parks in Brisbane, but it’s a ghost town at the moment,” he said.

Cr Murphy, who is also a dog owner, said it was disappointing to hear about the alleged baiting around the city.

“This poison used at Meadowlands Road is a different poison to the one used at New Farm Park, but it’s no less dangerous for dogs to be ingesting,” he said.

“I would hate to see that this was a potential copycat, that there were people out there trying to replicate what happened in New Farm.”

Although social media posts have claimed eight dogs have died from alleged poisoning in the past couple of weeks, local vets are so far only aware of three dogs dying after visiting off-leash dog parks in New Farm and Newstead.

The dogs are suspected to have died from being poisoned, however none have undergone autopsies to confirm the suspicion.

A fourth dog brought into Fortitude Valley Vet clinic after rat pellets were found in his faeces survived.

The alleged rash of baiting and baiting attempts had left dog-lovers fearful of taking their dogs to any dog park.

The woman from Carina said she would be staying away from dog parks.

“It’s too risky,” she said.

Trish Le Mura, 36, from Wild Pawz Dog adventures and sitting, said she takes her dogs to the Meadowlands dog park daily, but would be staying away from all dog parks until further notice.

“I’m lost for words at the cruelty, to be honest,” she said.

“It’s all very devastating.

“With all the deaths that are happening, I just wanted to warn people, my customers and anybody that uses the dog park.”

Council staff have not found anything in their searches of New Farm, Newstead or Carina.

Queensland Police said additional patrols of dog pack locations had been introduced and urged anyone with further information to ring Police Link on 131 444.