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16 May 2008 - Queensland ends flying fox cruelty while NSW allows it to continue       

Queensland ends flying fox cruelty, NSW allows it to continue

Sydney, 16 May 2008                                                  
                                                                       

Humane Society International (HSI) strongly congratulates the Queensland Government for yesterday’s announcement not to issue any more permits for landholders to shoot flying foxes. We call on the NSW Government to do the same.

Flying foxes are protected threatened species under state and federal legislation yet fruit growers can get licences to shoot them to protect their crops.

“HSI is delighted Queensland is putting a stop to the shooting of flying foxes. It threatens the species and causes terrible suffering for the animals and their young”, said Nicola Beynon HSI Wildlife and Habitat Program Manager.

Despite the grey-headed flying-fox being listed as a threatened species in NSW law in 2001, the NSW Government continues to issue licences allowing over 1000 of them to be killed every year. “This would never be countenanced for other threatened species”, said Ms Beynon.

Queensland Minister for Sustainability, Climate Change and Innovation, Andrew McNamara, told State Parliament that the decision to stop issuing permits to shoot flying foxes follows a recent finding from the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee that shooting flying-foxes is inhumane.                                                                                                                                       

“Like all mammals, flying foxes are sensitive to pain. They are often wounded rather than killed outright and are difficult to retrieve in the dark to be dealt with humanely if injured”, said Andrew McNamara, Queensland Minister for Sustainability, Climate Change and Innovation.

Mr McNamara has pointed out that netting is the only secure method of protecting fruit crops from flying fox damage. Nets also benefit the farmer by excluding some pests, improving the quality of the fruit and providing protection from hail.

Whereas, shooting flying foxes is ineffective as a method of crop protection as well as cruel.

HSI recently submitted a Freedom of Information request to the NSW Government to uncover the extent of the cruel practice in NSW.

Wildlife carers in NSW who witness the cruelty first hand have told HSI that they cannot face another flying fox killing season. HSI is calling on the NSW Government to make sure they don’t have to.





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