NSW sanctions animal cruelty
HSI today expressed its dismay at news the NSW Government appears set to sanction cruelty to grey-headed flying-foxes, allowing the shooting of this threatened native species to continue for another year. This is despite Queensland having already banned the shooting of flying foxes due to its inhumane nature.
Carmel Tebbutt has had the policy of flying-fox shooting under review but it has now been revealed that the Government is preparing to allow the shooting to continue through the introduction of a Standard Operating Procedure. This is a bureaucratic device to continue the status quo.
“Given that the conditions of licences issued have neither been effective nor enforced to date, there is no reason to assume that a Standard Operating Procedure will be any more effective in preventing cruelty” said Alexia Wellbelove of Humane Society International, “No guidelines that the NSW Government prepares will be sufficient to deal with the extreme animal cruelty created by the shooting flying-foxes. The NSW Government must provide further justification as to how they can continue to support a practice already deemed cruel by Queensland”.
By allowing the shooting to continue for another year, the NSW Government will be licensing animal cruelty, and landholders could be liable under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. This act of cruelty will be focussed on the breeding females of the population, the majority of which leave behind their orphaned young, who endure many days of suffering before succumbing to predation, dehydration, starvation and ultimately death. If the NSW Government can’t be persuaded to end this practice, conservationists will have to resort to court to put a stop to the cruelty. Only an immediate ban on shooting will ensure an end to this cruelty.