We must keep the ban on shooting and electrocuting of flying-foxes
The Liberal National Party intends to allow fruit growers to kill flying-foxes, including two threatened species, if it wins government on 24 March.
After more than a century of flying-fox slaughter in Queensland, the Queensland Government recently banned lethal methods of control. Electrocution was banned in 2001, and shooting was banned in 2008 after expert assessments found they were inhumane.
As Queensland' s Animal Welfare Advisory Committee concluded, the shooting of flying foxes results in a high rate of wounding. A 2009 study in a NSW orchard found that about three-quarters of shot flying-foxes were wounded and would have taken hours or days to die.
Electrocution is humane only if animals are first rendered unconscious by current applied to the brain, which does not occur when flying-foxes collide with electric grids.
Because the ripening of fruit coincides with the birth of flying-foxes, killing in orchards results in the starvation of large numbers of orphaned young. A large proportion of fruit growers have adopted the only reliable method of crop protection ' netting. Unfortunately, those who remain un-netted can kill very large numbers.
Under the plan, many thousands of flying-foxes are likely to die most years. It is very difficult to enforce any limits on numbers killed. This will include the nationally threatened Greyheaded and Spectacled flying-foxes.
Queensland conservation laws require that any crop protection method be humane, so the proposal also threatens humaneness requirements for other species.
Further information can be found here on the HSI website.
- You abhor animal cruelty;
- You object to shooting or electrocuting flying-foxes, methods which have been shown to be inhumane. Animals die slowly of wounds and orphaned young die of starvation;
- You object to the killing of federally and state listed threatened species. They should focus on conservation of flying-foxes to protect threatened species and promote ecosystem health;
- Farmers have much better choices, with netting the only reliable method. Shooting and electrocution are not effective, particularly when there is heavy flying-fox pressure.