Wild dogs, which include feral domestic dogs, dingoes and their hybrids, prey on livestock causing significant impact on agricultural production. Methods of control include poisoning with para-aminopropiophenone (commonly known as PAPP) and sodium fluoroacetate (commonly known as 1080) as well as trapping, shooting, exclusion fencing and use of livestock guarding animals.
Lethal baiting is considered to be the most cost-effective control method currently available and is the only practical means for achieving population control in remote and inaccessible areas.
PAPP is a yellow, crystalline compound that is incorporated into commercially prepared meat baits. Commercially manufactured DOGABAIT® baits contain 1000mg of PAPP in a 60g bait which is sufficient toxin to kill a wild dog. They also contain small yellow/orange marker beads that remain in the gut of poisoned animals, which assists with differentiating death due to PAPP from other causes. In contrast, commercially prepared 1080 baits for wild dogs contain red marker beads.
Baits containing PAPP are applied by hand directly to the ground and must be buried in a shallow hole. They are not approved for aerial application. Wild dogs are amongst the most susceptible species to the effects of PAPP. Good baiting technique helps to minimise the risk to non-target species and maximise the effect on targeted wild dog populations.
This standard operating procedure (SOP) is a guide only; it does not replace or override the legislation that applies in the relevant state or territory jurisdiction. The SOP should only be used subject to the applicable legal requirements (including WH&S) operating in the relevant jurisdiction.
(Images supplied by Animal Control Technologies Australia)
Baiting with PAPP is best used in a strategic manner as part of a co-ordinated program designed to achieve sustained effective control. In some instances, baiting is reactive, occurring as a response to a single or series of attacks on livestock.
Baiting with PAPP should not be used in areas where there is an unacceptably high risk to humans and companion animals, such as urban/residential landscapes.
Baiting with PAPP should not be used in areas where there is a high risk of harm to wildlife. DOGABAIT® PAPP baits are toxic to some native species (i.e. marsupial carnivores, bandicoots, goannas and some birds including ducks) therefore measures must be taken to minimise the risk of non-target poisoning (for example, only baiting in winter months when goannas are least active i.e. where mean maximum temperatures are expected to be ≤16 °C).
Timing and frequency of baiting depends on a number of variables including resources available, value and vulnerability of livestock, availability of alternative prey for wild dogs and season (weather, water availability, stage of dog breeding cycle). In Western Australia, baiting is usually conducted in spring, whereas in eastern Australia it usually occurs in late autumn and winter.
Baiting of wild dogs with PAPP can only be carried out under conditions set down in a specific permit issued by the Australian Pesticides & Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) under Commonwealth legislation (Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994). PAPP must also be used in accordance with relevant state, territory and other Commonwealth legislation. The PAPP user may also need to make a referral under the EPBC Act (Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999). See Table 1.
PAPP is a restricted chemical product (under Regulation 45 of the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Regulations 1995) and is listed as a Schedule 7 – Dangerous Poison under the Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Drugs and Poisons (SUSDP). These listings require special precautions in the manufacture, handling, storage and use of PAPP, along with specific regulations regarding labelling or availability.
Manufactured PAPP baits can only be obtained through authorised state government agencies responsible for vertebrate pest control such as Local Land Services in NSW.
Table 1: Relevant federal, state and territory legislation for the use of 1080
Federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
Australian Capital Territory Environment Protection Act 1997
New South Wales Pesticides Act 1999
Northern Territory Poison and Dangerous Drugs Act 1999
Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1998
Queensland Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulations 1996
South Australia Controlled Substances Act 1984
Controlled Substances (Poison) Regulations 2011
Tasmania Poisons Act 1971
Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Control of Use) Act 1995
Victoria Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical (Control of Use) Act 1992
Western Australia Poisons Act 1964
Poisons Regulations 1965
Animal welfare considerations
Impact on target animals
The toxicity of PAPP is due to the formation of high levels methaemoglobin caused by the oxidation of haemoglobin in red blood cells. When the concentration of methaemoglobin is high, the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood is markedly reduced which leads to a lethal deficit of oxygen (termed hypoxia when oxygen levels are low or anoxia when oxygen is totally depleted) in the brain and heart, and results in lethargy followed by unconsciousness and death. Mammalian carnivores are highly susceptible to PAPP compared with other species such as birds.
After a wild dog has ingested PAPP there is a lag period before signs of toxicosis such as lethargy, ataxia (difficulty maintaining balance), vocalising (whimpering to howling), drooling and increased heart rate are observed. As methaemoglobin levels increase, cyanosis—blue colouration of the mucous membranes due to deoxygenated haemoglobin in blood vessels near the skin surface—becomes evident, particularly around the tongue and gums. Although, the duration of the lag phase, duration and severity of symptoms and time to death can be variable, in a pen study of 5 dogs, the average lag period lasted for approximately 70 minutes, clinical signs were present for around an hour and average time to death was just under 2 hours. As the toxicoses progresses, dogs become unresponsive and cannot move voluntarily, but they still show signs of awareness and generally do not become unconscious until the toxicosis has progressed to agonal (gasping, laboured) breathing (i.e. around 1 to 5 minutes prior to death).
To minimise the animal welfare implications of leaving dependent pups to die a slow death from starvation it is preferable not to undertake baiting programs when females are whelping (i.e. June to August in temperate areas). This is also the time when females are moving around least within their home range thus reducing the likelihood of finding baits.
Impact on non-target animals
Poisoning of non-target species can occur when other animals eat baits intended for wild dogs (primary poisoning). In addition to wild dogs, PAPP is highly toxic for domestic dogs and cats and may also pose a risk to several native species including varanid lizards (goannas), marsupial carnivores (spotted tail quolls, Tasmanian devils), bandicoots and also some bird species, including ducks.
The risk of secondary poisoning (i.e. poisoning that occurs through the scavenging of tissues or entrails from a poisoned animal) from PAPP is thought to be relatively low because of the rapid degradation of the toxin, and the low concentration of PAPP in tissues of the poisoned animal. However, it is possible that species such as goannas, that are susceptible to primary poisoning, may also be susceptible to secondary poisoning if they scavenge from the stomachs of fresh carcasses.
In agricultural areas where the risk to non-target species is unknown, especially where sensitive native carnivores are likely to be present, bait stations using buried, non-poisonous baits should be established and monitored. If baits are taken or disturbed by non-target animals then poison baiting should not be commenced in the area. In conservation areas where native carnivores are known to be present, operators should consult state-specific guidelines when planning a baiting program.
Visitation of bait stations by non-target animals and wild dogs can be monitored using cameras and/or sand pads (a 1m2 area of raked earth or sand established on top of the buried bait). For sand pads to effectively detect and allow identification of footprints they should be checked daily.
To minimise caching by dogs and foxes, bait stations should only contain a single bait. Each bait contains a precise amount of PAPP (1000 mg), which is sufficient to deliver a lethal dose to a wild dog. The rate is calculated to minimise sub-lethal doses and overdosing
To minimise the potential for toxic baits to be lethal to non-target animals, the following baiting strategies are followed:
Burial placement of baits – bury baits approximately 8cm under the ground. Wild dogs will readily dig up buried baits but they are less likely to be removed by native species, particularly birds.
Distance between bait stations – space baits at least 200m apart to minimise the risk of native animals finding multiple baits. Also, wild dogs may be less likely to cache baits when they are placed a distance apart. If quolls are thought to occur in the area, bait stations should be spaced at least 500 metres apart.
Marking of bait stations – mark or record the location of buried baits so that any baits remaining at the end of the program can be collected and destroyed.
Timing of baiting – this should be adjusted to reduce exposure to potentially susceptible species. For example, baiting in winter months, when goannas are less active, is preferred in areas of high goanna abundance.
First aid for domestic dogs and cats
Wild dog baits are highly attractive to other carnivores. Care must be taken to ensure that working dogs and domestic dogs and cats do not come into contact with wild dog baits.
The prognosis for poisoned dogs or cats is extremely poor unless an antidote (methylene blue) is promptly (preferably no more than 30 minutes after ingestion) administered by a veterinarian. You will need to act immediately to save a poisoned working dog, pet dog or pet cat – take your dog or cat to a vet straight way. Avoid extremes of temperature and keep your dog or cat as calm and quiet as possible.
If the dog (do not attempt this with an affected cat) is still able to stand it may be possible to induce vomiting—to get the bait out –by giving it an emetic by mouth e.g. salty water (2 teaspoons of salt in a cup of water) or 3 to 5 ‘washing soda’ (sodium carbonate) crystals (DO NOT use ordinary laundry detergent or powder). However, if the dog cannot stand then do not attempt to induce vomiting but take it straight to the vet.
Veterinary intervention aims to reduce methaemoglobin back to haemoglobin (usually with methylene blue, although this too can be toxic in high doses), provide oxygen and respiratory support and to absorb toxin (with activated charcoal) and promote its excretion (with saline or sorbitol). For detailed information vets should refer to the Briefing note for Veterinarians.
Health and safety considerations
Operators using PAPP baits must strictly follow the directions on the approved label when using, storing, transporting or disposing of the baits.
PAPP baits can be harmful to humans if swallowed. Ingesting multiple baits may cause methaemoglobinaemia leading to anoxia, although the lethal dose of PAPP (or levels of methaemoglobin) causing fatality for humans has not been positively established.
Store bait in the original labelled container in a locked cabinet or room away from children, animals and food. Do not handle bait where there is a risk of contaminating drinking water or foodstuff/feed intended for human or animal consumption.
Appropriate personal protective equipment, including trousers and long-sleeved shirts or overalls and chemical resistant gloves should be worn when handling PAPP baits.
After use and before eating, drinking or smoking, wash hands, arms and face with soap and water. Wash contaminated clothing and gloves.
If PAPP baits are swallowed, contact a doctor or the Poisons Information Centre (Ph 13 11 26).
Always refer to specific permit and approved label for further details. Baits must be laid according to requirements specified by the relevant state/territory authority.
DOGABAIT® baits must only be supplied to and used by personnel authorised by the relevant state or territory government authority or persons under their direct supervision.
A single bait contains sufficient toxin to be lethal to a target wild dog. DOGABAIT® baits contain 1000mg of PAPP in a 60g bait.
Baits must be stored and transported in a secure and safe manner. It is best to obtain baits only when they are required.
Baits must be kept, stored or transported in a container bearing the original label, as supplied by the manufacturer. They must stored in the closed, original container in a dry, cool, well-ventilated and secure area out of direct sunlight and away from children, pets and foodstuffs.
personal protective equipment
towel, soap, dish or bucket
first aid kit
marking tape and/or pegs
shovel or mattock for digging holes
rake and small amount of (preferably local) sand or soil for preparing sand pads
monitoring camera (optional)
Notification and warning signs
Neighbour notification and signage requirements may vary from state to state, therefore it is essential that bait users familiarise themselves with the requirements specified by the relevant state/territory authority.
All adjoining landholders must be notified of a baiting program at least 72 hours in advance and a record of the notifications must be kept.
Warning signs are compulsory for all lands where baiting occurs. Landholders and neighbours should be advised of the risks to humans and non-target animals associated with PAPP use. As PAPP is lethal to domestic dogs, measures should be taken to securely confine or restrain all domestic dogs, and use muzzles where appropriate for the duration of the program and after baiting when viable baits are likely to be present. Domestic cats are also susceptible to PAPP poisoning and should be confined to prevent them from eating baits. Depending on environmental conditions baits can remain potentially lethal for many weeks.
Warning signs must be erected at all entry points before laying baits. Each sign must include the date laid, which toxin has been used, and for which pest animal, and contact numbers for further queries. Signs must remain up for a minimum of 4 weeks from the last day of baiting.
The specified minimum distances that PAPP baits can be laid from habitation, watercourses, boundary fences and roads etc. must be observed. Generally, baits must be placed at least 150m from a dwelling; 20m from permanent or flowing water bodies; 5m from boundary fences; and 5m from the edge of formed public roadways.
Requirements may vary from state to state, therefore it is essential that bait users familiarise themselves with the requirements specified by the relevant state/territory authority.
Laying of baits
Place baits 200 -500 metres apart, along fences, tracks and trails or areas frequented by wild dogs e.g. movement, hunting or drinking areas. Approximately one bait station per 5–10 ha (up to 20 bait stations per km2) is needed for effective wild dog control.
Apply baits by hand directly to the ground by burial in a shallow hole (<8 cm deep) and cover with soil.
Bait sites must be identified with marker tape and/or pegs so that baits can be recovered if not taken. A GPS may also be used to record bait locations.
Check bait stations 2 or 3 times per week and replace baits that have been taken.
A single round of bait placement will generally not control all wild dogs in an area. For effective control, it is necessary to conduct a 4 to 6 week program. Replacement of baits should continue until bait take stops.
At the conclusion of the baiting program collect and destroy any remaining PAPP baits either by taking the baits in the original and labelled container to an approved waste management facility or, if an approved waste management facility is not available, by burying in a 1 metre deep disposal pit. Buried baits must be covered with at least 500 mm of soil. The disposal pit must be specifically marked and set up for this purpose clear of waterways, desirable vegetation and tree roots in compliance with relevant local, state or territory government regulations.
The length of time that baits contain a lethal dose of PAPP can be highly variable and depends on factors such as how the baits are laid, soil moisture and temperature. Bait degradation studies have shown that the PAPP content in buried baits declines more rapidly than in baits that are placed on the surface of the ground. The rate of breakdown of PAPP in DOGABAIT® baits is slower than that of 1080 baits with levels remaining high enough to cause death in dogs for up to several weeks after laying.
Users of PAPP must always refer to the relevant federal, state and territory legislation for more detailed and up-to-date information on conditions of use including distance restrictions, public notification, distribution, storage, transportation and disposal of baits.
Animal Control Technologies (Australia) Pty Ltd (2012). Submission to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority for Registration of DOGABATE® Wild Dog Bait: Part 8 Efficacy & Safety. Melbourne, ACTA.
Eason, C. T., Miller, A., MacMorran, D. B., & Murphy, E. C. (2014). Toxicology and ecotoxicology of para-aminopropiophenone (PAPP)–a new predator control tool for stoats and feral cats in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Ecology, 177-188.
Fleming, P., Corbett, L. Harden, R. and Thomson, P. (2001). Managing the impacts of dingoes and other wild dogs. Bureau of Rural Sciences, Canberra.
Jessop, T. S., Kearney, M. R., Moore, J. L., Lockwood, T., & Johnston, M. (2013). Evaluating and predicting risk to a large reptile (Varanus varius) from feral cat baiting protocols. Biological Invasions, 15, 1653-1663.
Mallick, S., Pauza, M., Eason, C., Mooney, N., Gaffney, R., and Harris, S. (2016) Assessment of non-target risks from sodium fluoroacetate (1080), para-aminopropiophenone (PAPP) and sodium cyanide (NaCN) for fox-incursion response in Tasmania. Wildlife Research 43, 140–152.
McLeod, L. & Saunders, G. (2013). Pesticides used in the management of vertebrate pests in Australia: A review. Orange, NSW Department of Primary Industries.
Murphy, E. C., Eason, C. T., Hix, S., & MacMorran, D. (2007). Developing a new toxin for potential control of feral cats, stoats, and wild dogs in New Zealand. In: Managing Vertebrate Invasive Species: Proceedings of an International Symposium (G. W. Witmer, W. C. Pitt, K. A. Fagerstone, Eds). Fort Collins, Colorado, USDA/APHIS/WS, National Wildlife Research Centre.
Savarie, P. J., Pan, H. P., Hayes, D. J., Roberts, J. D., Dasch, G. J., Felton, R., & Schafer, E. W. (1983). Comparative acute oral toxicity of para-aminopropiophenone (PAPP) in mammals and birds. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 30, 122-126.
The Centre for Invasive Species Solutions manages these documents on behalf of the Environment and Invasives Committee. The authors of these documents have taken care to validate the accuracy of the information at the time of writing [September, 2016]. This information has been prepared with care but it is provided “as is”, without warranty of any kind, to the extent permitted by law.
Connect with Government
It is important to contact the relevant federal, state or territory government agency to ensure you have the right permits in place before undertaking a baiting program.