stop inhumane safari hunting of Crocodiles in the Northern Territory
The Northern Territory Government has once again applied for approval from the Federal Environment Minister for a revised management program for the Saltwater Crocodile. Included in this management program is the introduction of a crocodile safari hunting program. Their proposal suggests a quota of 50 animals as part of the broader 500 animal quota for wild harvesting of adult crocodiles. This is not intended as a means of controlling nuisance crocodiles, but a means by which to attract money from tourists wishing to obtain trophies from their hunting expeditions.
HSI believes that allowing crocodiles, or any Australian native wildlife to be hunted for trophies, is unacceptable and will damage Australia' s reputation. This proposal has been raised numerous times, and each time successive Federal Environment Ministers have rightly rejected it, reflecting the public opinion of Australians who are opposed to trophy hunting of our native animals. This proposal was most recently rejected in 2009 by the then Environment Minister Peter Garrett, yet once again the NT Government is seeking approval for this cruel practice.
A return to trophy hunting would be a return to the out-dated attitudes to wildlife from the last century. In addition to conservation concerns there are also considerable animal welfare concerns. The proposed means by which to address welfare concerns are impractical and unenforceable ' especially as it is proposed that only between 10 and 20% of hunts will be accompanied by NT Parks staff in the first year of operation, with monitoring potentially decreasing thereafter. It is therefore inevitable that without monitoring considerable cruelty will occur, which is no basis for a modern commercial enterprise.
Claims have been made that the safari hunts will provide Indigenous landholders with significant benefits in the forms of hunting fees and accommodation expenses. Instead, the NT Government should focus on promoting ecotourism to these same areas. This is a rapidly expanding industry which would provide equal, if not more sustainable revenue, for Indigenous landholders and provide an economic incentive to protect not only crocodiles but the broader habitat in which they live, thus maintaining Australia' s reputation as an ecotourism destination of choice.
Please write to the Environment Minister, the Hon Tony Burke MP by email to Tony.Burke.MP@aph.gov.au or by fax to 02 6273 6101
Also copy your correspondence to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask that your email be considered as a submission into the Federal government's consultation process on the Proposed Management Program for the Saltwater Crocodile in the Northern Territory of Australia, 2012-2014.
- Ask the Minister to reject the NT Government proposal to allow the safari hunting of saltwater crocodiles on the basis of that it is an outdated practice which does not reflect wider Australian public opinion which is opposed to trophy hunting and animal cruelty. This policy is also out of line with Australia' s position taken internationally, such as the International Whaling Commission where non-lethal whale watching is strongly promoting over the lethal alternative of the hunting of whales.
- Tell the Minister that safari hunting is not only inherently cruel, inhumane, and disrespectful of modern wildlife conservation principles, but also risks the reputation of Australia as an eco-tourism destination of choice and the NT Government proposal must therefore be rejected.
Please write by 31st July 2012.
Please send us copies of any responses you receive.
photo: Saltwater Croc (c) istockphoto.com Veni