The Queensland, Australia government-sanctioned killing of two threatened species – Spectacled and Grey-headed flying-foxes, has enraged bat conservationists across the globe. The government banned the shooting of flying-foxes in 2008 after the Australian Animal Welfare Advisory Committee found it was inhumane. However, fruit growers are now being permitted to shoot flying-foxes, despite its acknowledged cruelty. To add insult to injury, Minister John McVeigh said “It’s important every Queenslander understands animal cruelty is never acceptable”. Ironic since Minister McVeigh has not responded to bat conservationist’s emails and has not made one single move to stop this uncivilized, cruel kill, condoned by Campbell Newman, Premier of Queensland.
Four flying-fox species are being needlessly killed: Grey-headed (endangered), Spectacled (endangered), 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 (or every 2.471 acres) and the government has a program in place to assist them with the expense, the Sustainability Loans Program.
The barbaric killing of these innocent animals is unacceptable. Bats are being used for target practice as they fly through the orchards. The partially massacred bodies of these majestic creatures are retrieved and thrown into plastic bags while they are still breathing so that they may slowly suffocate. In other situations, bat workers have found that the injured were not retrieved and were left to die over a 3-4 day period, victims of predators, insects, dehydration and blood loss. This is the fate of the adults and the mothers who have newborn nursing young on them. Still others, such as pups developed enough to remain in the camp but too young to fly, are left to die of dehydration and starvation while they innocently await the return of their mothers who have suffered an even worse fate.
We have contacted individual Ministers of the government to voice our concern and they are now responding with ‘lip service’ emails. This means we must ramp up our efforts. Stopping is not an option while innocent animals are being mutilated. Please join our 30-day email campaign wherein we will email numerous Queensland government officials with our protests. We will boycott travel to Australia, as well as the purchase of any Australian product until they stop these barbaric killings.
It is incumbent upon bat conservationists and the environmentally concerned to have a voice that can be heard around the world. Please join us to make this happen. We want to make this easy on you in order for you to commit to the 30-day campaign without interruption. It will only take a couple of minutes of your time each day; just a minute or two, to save these pure, blameless animals. They have no one else but us and remember, alone we are but one voice, together we ROAR.
PLEASE HELP NOW BY SENDING THE EMAIL BELOW, TARGETED TO THE FOLLOWING 41 QUEENSLAND OFFICIALS. YOU WILL NEED TO COPY AND PASTE THE ADDRESSEES AND LETTER BELOW INTO YOUR OWN EMAIL PROGRAM TO SEND. SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE!
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Please note that the following emails may now be nonfunctional. If you have updated addresses for the following please sent the information to [email protected]: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]
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Dear Queensland Official,
The latest ‘form letter’ response from Troy Collings, Chief of Staff, equals the Queensland government’s barbaric killing of flying foxes in absurdity. This is not a deliberate attempt to be offensive, but the response is insulting and offers nothing but empty comments about a devastating situation. One can understand how any failed conservation action is referred to as the “Australian Effect” and how the term originated.Mr. Collings states, “The Queensland Government recognises your concerns and believes it is taking the necessary action to minimise the damage to fruit crops caused by flying-foxes without compromising the welfare or long-term conservation of these animals”. You are killing endangered species!! If that is not compromising the welfare of the animal, what is?Queensland cannot possibly control the number of animals shot given the land mass over which the shootings take place nor can you prevent the ‘target practice’ shoots of flying foxes, leaving them to die an agonizing death over a 3-4 day period. Your barbaric plan cannot prevent the culling of lactating females who leave innocent, young, viable animals to starve to death nor does it accommodate the human response wherein farmer’s who overkill simply bury the evidence.This culling involves endangered species and yet you are trying to tell the world what you are doing is in the best interest of the farmers? This action does not mix well with the goals of Queensland’s 2012-2016n Strategic Plan to “ …maximize sustainable tourism growth for the social and environmental benefit of all Queenslanders.” On the contrary, dozens of people who planned tp visit Queensland have now decided against visiting there because of the barbaric culling of threatened bats currently taking place.
You have a feasible option for the farmers as well as the animals – netting. If you truly want to co-exist with the flying foxes instead of rendering them extinct, then your country would be better served financially if you did the same thing as the City of Austin, TX. They were going to eliminate the bats from the downtown area (viewed as a nuisance) because of the guano (and perceived health risk) until they were educated about the economic and environmental impacts of such a decision. Now Austin realizes $10-$15 million dollars a year in tourism due to the population of bats in that city (in excess of 2 million). It is called the Austin Bat Tour and people come from as far away as Europe (and yes, even Australia) to witness the nightly emergence during the summer months. They have learned to embrace the bats 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 foraging ground to view the bats (in Austin they put bat channeling under the bridge to provide a roosting place for over 1.5 million bats), plant sacrificial crops for them to eat near their camps, advertise for donations for the appropriate crop protective nets used in orchards, via Facebook, animal welfare groups and apply for emergency animal welfare grants. You have organizations on the ground in Australia ready and willing to work with you.
Queensland is playing with the ecological balance of our planet at a time when we have reached the limits of our options. The response from Mr. Collings was disturbing and despicable, and has made conservationists even more determined to fight your actions and let the world know that Australia murders its native species when there are benign solutions available. Consequently, I will be spreading the word to tourism groups, humane societies, and environmentally conscious people around the world to boycott travel to Australia as well as the boycott of Australian products until Queensland stops the needless killing bats.Your Signature.
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