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PO Box 439 AVALON NSW 2107
(61) (2) 9973 1728
Action Alert - Bat Deaths      
HSI

TAKE ACTION 

Action Alert

Sydney, 13 March 2006
Urge Governments to take action on bat deaths
Humane Society International and the Ku-ring-gai Bat Conservation Society urge groups to support our recommendations to resolve the current problem of flying-fox and other wildlife deaths from incorrect netting of backyard fruit trees in Australia.

Every year hundreds of flying-foxes and other wildlife suffer horrific injuries when they become entangled in protective netting which loosely covers backyard fruit trees. Most of these animals die slow and painful deaths and those that survive often need care for the remainder of their lives. One of the most common victims of this netting is the grey-headed flying fox, listed as threatened under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, the Federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988; and nominated for listing under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992.

The NSW, Victorian and Queensland Governments have all issued guidelines on correct netting procedures. These guidelines state that in order to prevent wildlife deaths, netting must be stretched tightly over a frame, rather than draped over the tree and that thin nylon (monofilament) netting must never be used.

Despite this, monofilament netting is sold and directly marketed for the purpose of protecting fruit trees by stores such as Bunnings and Flower Power. Also, while Bunnings recently agreed to distribute information on the dangers of fruit tree netting at point of sale, these warnings are not included in the labelling of netting. No such agreement has been reached with other retails outlets selling netting.

ACTION:

Write to the following State Ministers:
 
The Hon Bob Debus Minister for Environment
Parliament House, Macquarie St Sydney NSW 2000
FAX: (02) 9228 3166
EMAIL: bob.debus@debus.minister.nsw.gov.au
The Hon Desley Boyle
Minister for Environment
PO Box 15031 City East QLD 4002
FAX: 3221 9964
EMAIL: ELGPW@ministerial.qld.gov.au
The Hon John Thwaites
Minister for Environment
1 Treasury Place Melbourne VIC 3002
FAX: 9651 1188
EMAIL: john.thwaites@parliament.vic.gov.au

Urge the Ministers to commit to the following proposals:

1. All monofilament (thin nylon) netting must be completely removed from the market place. There are many other commercial alternatives. Even if monofilament netting is erected in the recommended way by stretching it tightly over a frame, it can still be lethal to wildlife. It should be banned.

2. All other backyard fruit tree netting sold in retail outlets must carry labels, warning consumers of the consequences of incorrect netting and carrying information on how to net correctly. Suggest that translations of correct netting methods are made in several languages. Congratulate the NSW Minister, The Hon Bob Debus for reaching a recent agreement with Bunnings, whereby Bunnings agreed to distribute information on the dangers of netting at point of sale. However stress that this information should specifically be included in the labeling of fruit tree netting.

Please be clear in your letters that they do not apply to commercial fruit growers but to private individuals trying to protect their backyard fruit trees by using incorrect netting procedures.

Write to the following retailers:
Michael Schneider
State Operations Manager, Bunnings
11 Shirley Rd Rosehill NSW 2142
Rod Caust
State Operations Manager, Bunnings
PO Box 2277 Mansfield BC QLD 4122
Allan Marotte
State Operations Manager, Bunnings
Locked Bag 3004 Hawthorn VIC 3122
John Sammut
Managing Director, Flower Power
124 Newbridge Rd Moorebank NSW 2170

Ask the retailers to remove monofilament netting from their stores as there are many other commercial alternatives. Congratulate Bunnings in NSW for agreeing to distribute information on the dangers of netting at point of sale, however ask that warnings are specifically included in the labelling of fruit tree netting.





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