In Victoria, the dingo (Canis lupus dingo) is listed as a threatened species under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and as a result is protected (threatened wildlife) under the Wildlife Act 1975. The dingo has an important role as a top order predator in the natural environment. It is both culturally important to First Nations People and valued as an iconic Australian species.

Predation of livestock is an important issue for livestock production. Conflict between grazing enterprises and dingoes can occur on private land adjoining public land in eastern Victoria and north-west Victoria.

Review of current approach to dingo conservation and management in Victoria

There is emerging research regarding the status of what were previously understood to be wild dogs (feral domestic dogs), or dingo-dog hybrids.

The recent scientific evidence represents a significant change in the knowledge that underpins current policy and the regulatory framework for managing wild dogs and dingoes in Victoria. This information necessitates a review and for government to agree a future policy for dingo conservation and management in Victoria.

The review will be finalised by October 2024 and will consider the new research alongside the rights and cultural obligations of Traditional Owners, and the need to balance the conservation of the dingo with the need to minimise the impacts from predation on graziers, including alternatives to lethal control.

The review will include consultation with Traditional Owners, graziers and peak bodies representing the affected farming community and conservation interests on the review of the dingo conservation and predation management.

The review will also include a comprehensive assessment of the dingo conservation status, including an assessment of dingo population and distribution across Victoria.

Dingo population estimates

A comprehensive assessment of dingo populations in Victoria is being undertaken to inform future approaches to dingo conservation and management. The latest data shows that the dingo population in the north-west of the state is very small and at imminent risk of extinction if threats to the population are not addressed.

There is an urgent need to remove the application of the Current Order as it applies to the north-west of the State, so that the vulnerable Mallee population of dingoes can be protected.

Order in Council unprotecting the dingo in certain circumstances

From 14 March 2024, to allow the control of dingoes where they threaten livestock, a new Order in Council has been made under section 7A of the Wildlife Act, declaring the dingo as unprotected within a 3km buffer zone on public land in eastern Victoria and on most private land across the state.

The new unprotection order will revoke and replace the order made in October 2023 and will have effect for the remainder of the term of the previous Order (i.e. until 1 October 2024).

The new Order is different from the previous Order in that the areas where dingoes are unprotected excludes the northwest of the state (which was covered by the previous Order). This new Order excludes northwest Victoria due to the risk of extinction of its local dingo population.

There will be no change to the existing regulatory arrangements across the rest of the State, with the new unprotection order remaining in place until 1 October 2024.

Where dingoes threaten livestock in the north-west of the state, farmers are able to apply for an Authority to Control Wildlife, which permits the use of lethal control in circumstances where no other options are available.

During the life of this new Order until (1 October 2024), the government will continue to review existing arrangements to agree on a future policy for dingo conservation and management in Victoria in light of new scientific research suggesting that a significantly greater proportion of Victoria’s wild dogs or dingo-dog hybrids may be dingoes, as well as information on dingo population size.

Further information on the current Order in Council:

Order in Council (PDF, 394.3 KB)

Page last updated: 14/03/24