Para-aminopropiophenone (PAPP) in canid pest ejectors (CPEs) kills wild dogs and European red foxes quickly and humanely
Lethal control remains an important approach to mitigating the impacts of predators on livestock and threatened fauna. This occurs in Australia, where wild dogs (Canis familiaris) and European red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are commonly subjected to broad-scale poisoning programs. Ongoing refinement of lethal tools has led to the recent development of manufactured poison baits containing para-aminopropiophenone (PAPP). Canid pest ejectors (CPEs) have also been recently registered for use and are a target-specific poison delivery device; yet, there has been no confirmation that PAPP delivered via ejectors will provide similar efficacy to PAPP delivered via manufactured baits. We tested the efficacy of PAPP in ejectors on wild dogs (1000-mg dose) and foxes (400-mg dose). Time-to-death, physical signs of poisoning and other related factors were assessed. Ten of 11 (91%) wild dogs used in controlled trials died within 3 h after PAPP administration; the mean time to unconsciousness was 65 min and the mean time to death was 84 min. Three of four (75%) foxes also died within 3 h after PAPP administration; their mean time to unconsciousness was 78 min, and their mean time to death was 121 min. Carcasses of eight deceased wild dogs and one fox were found during field trials, with distances between the nearest triggered ejector and the deceased animal ranging from 30 to 200 m. The presence of de-oxygenated blood in all necropsied carcasses and photographic evidence of triggered ejectors unequivocally demonstrated that using powdered PAPP in ejectors produces rapid anoxia and death in both wild dogs and foxes. Although anxiety and accompanying behaviours were observed in wild dogs (but not foxes), the use of PAPP offers a humane, additional option for the control of wild canids.
KeywordsCanis dingo Humaneness Livestock protection Human-wildlife conflict Poison Wild dog
Greg Conners and the Muturoo Pastoral Company provided access to the study site for each trial. Dave Berman, Deane Smith, Geoff Castle and Jason Wishart assisted with the fieldwork. Linton Staples and Jason Wishart provided advice on final stages of the manuscript. Animal Control Technologies Australia (ACTA) and Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) provided financial support to undertake the trials. Use of product trade names is given for descriptive purposes only and is not intended to endorse or dis-endorse any product, person or organisation.
Compliance with ethical standards
Approval to undertake the project was granted by the University of Southern Queensland’s Animal Ethics Committee (AEC permit number: 16REA102). A ‘Permit to allow research use and supply of an unregistered agvet chemical product’ was also obtained from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA permit number: PER83898). The project was conducted in accordance with these approvals. Permission to work on private land was granted by the landholder prior to commencing work.
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