There is a war raging in outback Qld. Everyday the battle is being fought, not by soldiers, but by everyday Australians. The enemy is growing stronger, smarter, more cunning.
This is the war on wild dogs.
Imagine this. You are responsible for thousands of lives. Everyday they directly rely on you to keep them safe from harm and healthy. The days seem endless, there are no such things as weekends, holidays or days off. There is no nine to five just daylight and darkness. You have dedicated your life to your work, your home, honouring your heritage. You are an outback Queensland woolgrower.
Now imagine falling into bed after a 14hr day. Your body weary, but mind racing. You have checked the fences today, flown over the paddocks, scanning the tree lines for predators. No dog sightings this week, just those pesky tracks. Traps are set, baits are laid. How are they getting in? Where are they now?
What will tomorrow bring?
Morning comes and light is shed on last nights battle while you’ve tossed and turned in your bed. They’ve been here again. They’ve bloody done it again.
The fences attempting to keep the dogs out, have been turned into prison cells for their victims. There is not just death, but mutilation. Organs have been ripped from bodies, throats have been torn apart. It’s all just a game to them, it’s just a bit of fun.
There will be more death this morning. The lives you’ve fought so hard for to keep alive, now have to end by your own hands. It’s the only humane thing to do. It’s what you have to do.
What would life be like if you didn’t have to fight everyday? If all those daylight hours didn’t have to be invested into fence maintenance, damage control and sheep euthanasia. What would the farm look like? How much more advanced would the flock be? How many less dark thoughts would live inside your head?
(Bruce Alexander – ‘Warringah’, Blackall Qld)
The battle rages on and most days there is no light at the end of this heartbreaking tunnel. The constant fight is taking its toll on your body and mind and to walk away, to just surrender would be easy. Forgivable even.
But what about those thousands of lives that need you? What about everything you have worked towards your whole life? What else would you do, where would you go? This is what you know, what you love, what gives your life meaning.
You are an outback Qld woolgrower. You stay. You fight. You survive.