Thursday, June 18, 2009

Flying Fox Shooting Code of Pratice to be Introduced!

NSW DECC have asked DPI to develop a "Code of Practice" to manage the shooting of flying-foxes. A Code of Practise is intended to ensure that any shooting is done in a humane and ethical manner. You may recall there was a review of shooting recently undertaken by an independent panel. This review has not been released although the Department undertook to release it publicly by the end of May 2009. This review is widely believed to find that shooting is cruel and inhumane. The review was informed by a report written by Anja Divljan, Kerryn Parry-Jones and Peggy Eby on the deaths and injuries sustained by a number of flying-foxes that were recovered from an Orchard after shooting. This report is available here :

There is no way any Code of Practise can address the cruelty that occurs as a result of shooting of flying-foxes for "orchard protection" because: - They are shooting a dark moving target against a dark sky- The vital organs of a flying-fox represent a very small proportion of the total area of the animal and its body mass is far more dense than, for example a bird. This makes it easy to wound an animal (wing bone breaks are fatal but not immediately) but very difficult to make a quick kill.- Shooting takes place during the time when flying-foxes are birthing and raising young. Every lactating female has young that either dies with her in the orchard or starves to death in the camp- The Divljan report that the animals recovered from the orchard were strongly biased to females 1.67 females for every 1 male.

Of those animals 65% were lactating females (see below for more statistical information from the report).- The people collecting the flying-foxes in the orchards were able to see animals that were hanging in inaccessible positions that were alive until at least the following day after shooting. These animals could not be recovered for examination and euthanasia and are assumed to have died from their injuries, dehydration, starvation, predation or infection some time later. In addition, licensed shooting of a species that the vulnerable to extinction is incompatible with the NSW government's conservation responsibilities.

So - to the action needed- please write to Carmel Tebbutt and tell her that NO Code of Practise can ever address the issues of cruelty that occur with shooting and that she must cease issuing licences to harm for the purposes of crop protection. It is urgent that these letters get Minister Tebbutt as soon as possible. Shooting is likely to start again in August.
Carmel Tebbutt's address is: The Hon. Carmel Tebbutt, NSW Minister for Environment, Level 30, Governor Macquarie Tower, 1 Farrer Place,SYDNEY NSW 2000 Phone (02) 9228 4866 Fax (02) 9228 4855

Please send a copy of any letter you send to Ian McDonald.
The Hon. Ian Macdonald,, Minister for Primary Industries, Level 33 Governor Macquarie Tower, 1 Farrer Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Phone (02) 9228 3344 Fax (02) 9228 3452 Email networkItem

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