Cats and dogs may be our best friends, but they don’t belong in our national parks or recreation areas, and two people recently received fines for taking domestic pets into prohibited park areas.
In separate incidents, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) rangers issued on-the-spot fines of $133.45 to a person who took a cat into the Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area and to a boatie who took his dog onto the K’gari (Fraser Island) foreshore.
QPWS Senior Ranger Col Lawton said the fines for the cat at Inskip was issued on 31 August 2020 and the fine for the dog on K’gari was issued on 30 August 2020.
“These fines serve as a reminder to visitors that domesticated animals are not permitted in Queensland’s national parks,” Mr Lawton said.
“In the 2019-20 financial year, rangers issued 184 fines to people for taking or keeping domestic animals on a recreation area, and 87 fines for taking or keeping a domestic animal in a national park.
“Domestic pets are incompatible with the natural values of our beautiful national parks and rangers take a zero-tolerance approach to people who break the rules.
“Dogs and cats are naturally inquisitive about open spaces and their presence and scent are enough to cause native animals stress.
“Dogs and cats may also become lost or hurt wandering off in a national park or while chasing native animals.
“Domestic dogs can also carry diseases and viruses that could have an impact on the wongari (dingo) population on K’gari.
“As well as causing stress for the wongari, the presence of domestic dogs on K’gari could result in a negative interaction with domestic dogs and their owners.
“Dogs have been banned on K’gari by the Fraser Coast Regional Council since 2011 in order to protect and preserve the wongari population, which is among the purest in Australia.
“Cats also carry disease and they have a major impact on our native animals, so it’s important to keep your pets at home or in care when you visit or camp in our national parks.”
Senior Ranger Lawton said the only dogs permitted in national parks are certified assistance dogs.
“Certified support dogs must wear an identifying coat or harness, and the approved badge or tag in our national parks and they must be kept on a lead,” he said.
“Our national parks are clearly signed that domestic pets are not allowed, but if anyone is unsure, they should check our park alerts or the website.
“Domesticated dogs and cats do not belong in national parks, so keep your pets at home or you will get a fine.”