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HomeLatest NewsDog baiting fears at Forty Baskets Beach

Dog baiting fears at Forty Baskets Beach

Dog owners who frequent Forty Baskets Beach in Balgowlah have been warned to be on the lookout for suspicious baited meat after several dogs were reportedly poisoned.

On 9 June, signs were put up by Northern Beaches Council at Forty Baskets Beach cautioning people there may be a dog poisoner in the area.

The signs say “Warning, illegal dog baiting. Please be cautious while exercising your dogs here. NSW Police are investigating reports of illegal dog baiting and our rangers continue to patrol the area…”

Manly Observer was informed by two veterinary staff from separate clinics that three dogs may have died as a result of ingesting poisoned meat at Forty Baskets Beach. Police issued a statement to us this weekend confirming as follows:

“Inquiries are underway after a resident reported a suspected dog baiting incident to Northern Beaches Police Area Command last week. The resident has told police her dog became ill after being walked near Forty Baskets Beach at Balgowlah on Wednesday 7 June 2023.  While police have made inquiries with local council rangers, officers are yet to secure evidence to confirm deliberate baiting incidents.”

Police urge anyone with information about incidents such as these, or any incidents of animal cruelty, to always contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.”

Northern Beaches Council Interim CEO, Louise Kerr, issued the following statement:

“Council staff are proactively monitoring the situation to check for any evidence of dog baiting and to deter such illegal activities.

“We condemn such illegal and cruel acts. There is zero tolerance for animal cruelty on the Northern Beaches and we encourage anyone with information to contact the authorities.”

Manly Observer has been confidentially informed that there have been significant tensions between a local resident who has been yelling at visitors if their dog is barking; this resident has referenced baiting incidents in these altercations. A report was made to police on 2 June after someone overheard the conversation. We are not aware of any proof physically connecting the disgruntled resident with the baiting or whether its reference was meant as a warning or threat.

The suspected poisoning incident occurred five days later.

Be mindful of what your dogs may find and eat when they’re roaming in an off-leash area. Photo: Alec Smart
Dog bait warning sign at Forty Baskets Beach, Balgowlah. Photo: Alec Smart

Dog baiting usually involves lacing meat with a poison such as rat bait to harm or kill the animal. Rodent baits contain, among other toxins, anticoagulant chemicals, such as Bromadiolone, chlorophacinone, difethialone, brodifacoum, and warfarin.

These cause uncontrolled bleeding by limiting rats and other target species’ ability to form blood clots around any cuts and grazes, followed by internal haemorrhaging.

Symptoms take up to five days to appear and without treatment anticoagulants are fatal to most birds and mammals, including humans. (Rodenticides also accumulate in the bodies of creatures eating the targeted rodents, and in turn poison and frequently kill the species that predate on them.)

Be mindful of what dogs may find and eat in dog parks. Photo: Alec Smart

Northern Beaches targeted before

Northern Beaches Council administer 29 off-leash dog walking zones in the local government area. In August 2019, a spate of dog baiting incidents took place in Clontarf, Curl Curl and Bayview, which, thankfully, didn’t result in casualties. We recall signs a year later still at Manly lagoon.

On 29 August 2019, Northern Beaches Police Area Command issued a warning on its Facebook page, stating: “Northern Beaches detectives, along with our council, are hunting those who’ve left baits in our suburbs over recent weeks, including hidden in people’s yards. When caught, the penalties can include big fines and gaol.

“However, if there’s a child involved, we’ll be talking charges and penalties potentially up to grievous bodily harm and more.”

The warning continued, “So far, it’s been pets and not children that have eaten the baits, but with the way and places they’re being hidden it’s perhaps just a matter of time until that changes.

“Northern Beaches police commander, Supt. Dave Darcy, says those leaving the baits must realise that once dropped they have no control over what or who will pick up or eat them.

“Poisoning or killing someone’s pet is bad enough,” Supt Darcy says, “but hurting someone’s child will have major criminal consequences.”

“Anyone who can help with first-hand information about baiting offences on the Beaches… contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or on 9971 3399.”

Poisoning or baiting animals is an offence under the Animal Welfare Act. Those caught and convicted face a maximum penalty of $50,000 fine or five years’ jail.

Any information to help NSW Police with their inquiries, call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000

If you discover suspected baits, retain them and contact police on 131 444

Manly Observer will update this story when we learn more.

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Manly Observer is an experiment in providing non-sensationalist hyperlocal news on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. We cover the big news across the LGA, but with a hyper focus on the Manly electorate encompassing Balgowlah, Seaforth, Freshwater, Brookvale and Curl Curl up to Dee Why. It is run by those living in the community for the benefit of an informed community. We care about an informed and connected community. That’s it. Simple. Thank you for your support in keeping quality local news alive!

Kim Smee, Editor

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