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18th April - HSI calls for crack down on illegal traps killing native wildlife      



18 April 2017

After reports of platypus and other native wildlife being drowned in illegal fishing traps in the ACT, and following on from the horrific killing of three platypus in Albury Botanic Gardens over recent weeks, Humane Society International (HSI) Australia is calling for a ramp up in efforts to crack down on fishing traps being used illegally throughout the range of the platypus on the east coast of Australia and in Tasmania.

Reports today outlined that platypus and native water rats had been found dead in the ACT in ‘Opera House Traps’ that were described as “killing machines for native animals”, but that authorities hadn’t prosecuted anyone due to the difficulty in catching fishers in the act of setting traps up.

“What we now have is a string of incidents where platypus and other wildlife have been caught in illegal traps, with one known case then involving their beheading. HSI is investigating where and how these traps are being purchased and used in an effort to make sure no other native wildlife are subject to this gruesome fate,” said HSI Senior Program Manager Evan Quartermain.

HSI is still offering a $5,000 reward for any information that leads to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the horrific killing of the three platypus found in Albury Botanic Gardens. Reports confirmed that the platypus had been trapped and then killed deliberately using a sharp object.

HSI Senior Program Manager Evan Quartermain said, "Information of a general nature has been received since we announced the reward last Wednesday, but unfortunately it has not yet furthered investigations. We remain optimistic of finding those responsible for the attacks on one of our beloved Australian icons, and are also turning our attention to the supply chains and fishing stores selling illegal traps in an attempt to stop the significant suffering and death they inflict from continuing.”

Harming native animals is an offence in New South Wales and penalties for such crimes include a fine of up to $11,000 and/or six months imprisonment.  HSI urges anyone with information about this case to come forward now, and assures that any identities will not be disclosed.  Please call Humane Society International on (02) 9973 1728.


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