Queensland returns to cruelty on National Threatened Species Day
Humane Society International (HSI) today condemned the resumption of the cruel shooting of native flying-fox species, sanctioned by the Queensland Government. An amended regulation exempting flying-foxes from humaneness requirements under Queensland’s Nature Conservation Act 1992 comes into effect today, National Threatened Species Day, Friday 7th September.
“It is a total disgrace that on National Threatened Species Day our native flying-fox species have had open season declared on them in Queensland, despite full acknowledgment of the cruelty that will result,” said Alexia Wellbelove of HSI.
In 2008, the Queensland Government stopped issuing licences to shoot flying-foxes to their fruit growers after an investigation by the Queensland Animal Welfare Advisory Committee found shooting flying-foxes to be inhumane. This finding of cruelty has since been supported by a NSW panel, resulting in NSW phasing out the shooting of flying-foxes.
The new laws sanction the killing of up to 10,500 flying-foxes, including the grey-headed and the spectacled flying-fox, both of which are listed as vulnerable under national environmental laws. Shooting is a cruel method, as flying-foxes are often not killed outright but left to die slow painful deaths from their injuries.
“Queensland has today acknowledged that over 10,500 bats will be brutally killed each year to protect crops. With many fatally shot females leaving behind young that will die a slow death from starvation, the numbers of flying-foxes involved is, in reality, far higher. And illegal killings may drive this figure even higher.”
“Sadly, it is highly unlikely that this sanctioned cruelty will provide crop growers with protection from flying-foxes, as it has been shown that the only effective method to protect crops from flying-foxes is to install netting.”
“HSI is therefore calling on growers this National Threatened Species Day not to shoot our threatened species, but to use the most humane methods to protect their crops from flying-foxes.”