QUEENSLAND KILLS THREATENED BATS

Source: Don't Shoot Bats

Threatened Species Day in Queensland, Australia was marked this year by the re-introduction of government-sanctioned killing of two threatened species – Spectacled and Grey-headed flying-foxes. The Qld Government banned shooting of flying-foxes in 2008 after the government’s Animal Welfare Advisory Committee found it was inhumane.

On Friday, a regulation exempting flying-foxes from humaneness requirements under the Nature Conservation Act comes into effect. So fruit growers will once again be permitted to shoot flying-foxes, despite its acknowledged cruelty. This decision stands in contrast to the removal of exemptions for dugong and turtle hunting under animal welfare laws less than 3 months ago. At that time Minister John McVeigh said “it’s important every Queenslander understands animal cruelty is never acceptable”.[1]

Under the new regulation, up to 10,500 flying-foxes can be shot each year. More are likely to be shot illegally and thousands of dependent young will also die. Shooting flying-foxes was banned because there is a high rate of wounding, and young flying-foxes die of thirst or starvation when their mother is shot in an orchard.

Four flying-fox species will be affected: Grey-headed, Spectacled, Black and Little red flying-foxes. Fruit growers can protect their crops far more effectively with nets, costing as little as $8,000 per hectare.

Please send a letter to Queensland’s Government. Tell them the world is watching, and encourage them to reverse this barbaric decision. Let them know that you will boycott traveling to Australia as well as products that come from Australia, and that you plan to let all of your animal-loving friends to do likewise. Feel free to copy and paste the sample letter below into your emails.All governments have made mistakes as it pertains to the environment. A major city in North Texas area in the U.S. was going to eliminate the bats from the downtown area until they were educated about the economic and environmental impacts of such a decision. Austin, TX (USA) sees $10-$15 million dollars a year in tourism due to the population of bats in that city. They have learned to embrace them rather than victimize them. Your country would be better served financially if you did the same thing. Set up flying fox tours so people can be situated between a camp and a hunting ground to view the bats, plant sacrificial crops for them to eat near their camps, advertise for donations for the appropriate crop protective nets used in orchards, etc. You have organizations on the ground in Australia ready and willing to work with you.
The decision to kill bats has been reversed once, lets make it happen again.

NOTE: YOU MUST COPY AND PASTE THE LETTER AND EMAIL ADDRESSES IN YOUR OWN EMAIL PROGRAM TO HAVE THE MOST IMPACT-

EMAIL ADDRESSES TO COPY AND PASTE:

Andrew Powell: glass.house@parliament.qld.gov.au
Campbell Newman: thepremier@premiers.qld.gov.au
Campbell Newman, Ashgrove: ashgrove@parliament.qld.gov.au

LETTER TO COPY AND PASTE:

Dear Queensland Government,

I write to you in hopes that you will have the good conscience to reverse the decision to allow the killing of flying foxes in Australia. The mere thought Australian government is permitting endangered species to be massacred is unconscionable. We all share this planet and in a time when we are experiencing the loss of so many species that are critical to the health of our planet, and we are faced with variations in climate that will add to the destruction of more species, why on earth would you contribute to the decimation of an essential species that are a prime tourist attraction for Australia?
If you allow the shooting of 10,500 per year, it can easily be estimated ten-fold of that number will be shot because they will lay dead and dying in areas not generally accessible so it will be impossible to keep track of the numbers. Additionally, you will not have the trained staff to monitor all of the shoots.

Whenever there is an environmental ‘mistake’ made, are you aware there is what has come to be known as the ‘Australia Effect’? It is part of environmental planning to make certain no one duplicates the errors made in Australia when coping with ecological issues. Your latest decision, concerning the flying foxes, will eventually be one more instance in the Australia Effect.

Flying foxes may appear to some less educated individuals as pests, but to the rest of the world you are shooting a flying mammal with an intellect comparable to that of a dolphin. You will be vilified by concerned individuals, environmental and animal welfare groups and Australia will suffer a severe blow to its economic health because thousands of people will post and share the horror that is transpiring in Australia and each individual who is contacted will contact 10 more people. Exponentially the news will reach millions who will find your decision to be abhorrent. Australia will suffer a boycott. I implore you to reconsider your actions. Give the world a reason to embrace Australia rather than scorn it.

Signed,

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