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RSPCA fails to attend where much needed at Bunyip bushfires 2019

"A hundred kangaroos, some dead, others badly injured." Barry Tapp, Senior Inspector for Animal Cruelty Australia Hotline, and other animal rescuers and carers say that the RSPCA failed to respond to requests to deploy the Mobile Animal Vet van to the bushfire areas where it was much needed (notably round Bunyip) and that they thereby failed to honour the commitment they gave the Victorian Government after the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into RSPCA Victoria. We publish below the Government Response to that Inquiry. Warriors4wildlife provided the photos via Barrie Tapp.

Wildlife and domestic animals in Bunyip fires need RSPCA assistance - will they get it?

Wildlife carers and rescuers and local farmers have requested the RSPCA to provide its mobile vet clinic ready to assist the expected influx of injured and suffering animals as soon as people are allowed back into the areas currently affected by the Bunyip fire. Barrie Tapp, Senior Inspector for Animal Cruelty Australia Hotline, says the RSPCA and their mobile vet van are needed now. "We already have reports of animals dead and dying."

Electricity privatisation linked to bushfires; Grattan report slammed by ETU

The Electrical Trades Union has slammed a recent report by the Grattan Institute as little more than an opportunistic call to sell-off Australia’s essential electricity assets to its corporate mates. ETU National Secretary Allen Hicks described the report as lacking integrity and avoiding the real cost drivers in Australia’s energy system. He also drew attention to the numerous fires started by electrical infrastructure faults. This is a matter that preoccupies us at candobetter.net as we see more and more bush cleared, wildlife lose habitat, and all the while most fires are started by humans and electrical faults. The Victorian Bushfire Commission has institutionalised this cruel absurdity.

Don't play with fire: Vic Gov should ignore more advice to incinerate more bushland

David Packham, former bushfire CSIRO scientist, is urging more 'fuel reduction' burns to our precious bushland. But more and more people are noticing that wildlife are not 'bouncing back' after the constant burning in Victoria. The yearly target of burning five per cent of public land, purportedly to reduce bushfire risk in Victoria (after the 2009 bushfires), means that within 20 years or even less, there will be no viable bushland left in this state on public land if people allow this to happen. Forests and their inhabitants just do not recover from this kind of assault, despite common propaganda that this is 'normal' for Australia. Kooris have since denied that this was their practice. People need to ask themselves, 'Who benefits?" when they hear calls for even more burning. The forestry industry benefits by replanting rows of straight pines which provide little habitat for animals and are in fact very flammable. The property development industry also benefits when bushland is razed by fire.

In a fire, wildlife matters

Two weeks ago fire 40 km north east of Perth burnt for 10 days and blazed through some 7,000 hectares of land, burning homes - far too many to count, or for that matter, to contemplate. It impacted on countless species and would have burnt millions of individuals, all of whom, like us, are categorised biologically under the heading Kingdom of Animalia. But that's not how the newspapers reported it...

It's time to stop lighting fires - Article by Bob McDonald, Naturalist

This very widely and deeply researched article talks about the role of Australian native animals in protecting forests from fire and reviews the evidence for prescribed burns, criticising Bill Gammage's research on a number of grounds and noting misconceptions about Aboriginal fire management. "Research by the CSIRO published since 1994 has shown that there is a group of around 1000 species of moths called oecophorids whose caterpillars occur at densities of up to 400 per square metre and eat dead leaf litter. These insects are killed by fire and take some years to come back - leaving the bush accumulating leaf litter. With frequent fires they can be lost. Termites consume vast amounts of dead timber Australia wide and in long unburned forests they are particularly dense with huge mounds in southern Australia too but their role in fuel reduction remains unstudied! Cockroaches and a wide range of beetle species and their larvae do the same. Recent research has identified Lyrebirds and Mallee Fowl as playing key roles in fuel reduction, composting litter and twigs in vast amounts reducing fuel loads by tonnes by per year per bird. All these insects, birds and animals that reduce fuel loads are diminished or lost to fire. Fungi are known to be major consumers of dead timber - but their role in fuel reduction is yet to be researched and the role of wallabies, wombats and especially potoroos in distributing fungi, though it is obviously significant, remains unstudied.

Video lecture: Did Australian Aboriginals burn the bush as we are told? Joel Wright, "The language of fire."

Note: This introduction has been edited for a number of small but important inaccuracies. Candobetter.net editor 29/12/2014.] Fuel reduction and ecological burning etc. are based on the assumption that all Aboriginal people undertook fire-stick farming. Joel Wright, traditional owner in southwest Victoria, is an indigenous language, culture and history researcher. He finds no evidence of wide-scale burning in Aboriginal language and culture, but does find other explanations for the history of aboriginal fires observed by Europeans. These were often smoke-signals exchanged between clans, for general communication and warning of approaching Europeans etc. There was also defensive burning to hinder explorers by burning feed their for their stock. Other fires were to 'cover their tracks' when they were being pursued, etc.. Many of these fires were mistaken for landscape burning. Joel also found one record of burning small portions of dry grass around marshes to expose an area to attract birds to scratch for food there, making the birds potential meals for the indigenous hunters. Nowhere did he find anything to justify the destructive and dangerous annual incineration of the landscapes of the Gunditjamara by the Victorian Government. He was concerned that burning the bush as we do now kills the birds and animals so important to vegetation stories, removes scar and burial trees and 'burns micro particles from axes and spears that holds the clues as to what they were used for.The video was recorded from Wright's presentation at Australian Wildlife Protection Council Fire and Wildlife Conference, "Pause and Review Victoria's Fire Management." November 2014

New Russian theory relates rainfall decline, fires and climate change to forest removal

In the light of the upcoming "Pause and Review" conference (November 9, 2014) on how Victoria's 5% per annum burning off will destroy most wildlife, along with forests and climate, I am revisiting the biotic pump theory on these pages. Whilst many people have been aware (but have mostly been ignored) that vegetation, especially forests, creates rain, and whilst desertification has been linked to deforestation historically many times, there is a new and robust theory to explain how this may happen. There is a short and a long version at Prof. Victor G. Gorshkov and Anastassia Makarieva's theoretical physics site here: "Biotic regulation pump." The authors also have pages at academia.edu. A journalist overview, "'Biotic Pump' Theory Suggests Forests Drive Wind and Rain" is available on the Environmental News Network.
See also How logging causes forest firesOriginal source of article:Rainforests may pump winds worldwide by Fred Pierce, New Scientist, 1st April 2009, issue no.2702.

South Eastern Red-tailed cockatoo under threat from burning for fuel reduction

The South Eastern Red-tailed cockatoo is under increased threat from Victorian government fire "management" plans. A large part of its critical habitat will be burnt. (Editor: This article was originally submitted as a comment. The subject is so important we promoted it to an article and we recommend the Birdlife Australia site it gives a link to for the bird. The site is brilliantly written and illustrated, engrossing and informative on birds and 'fire-management' problems, although it is more diplomatic than this article, which pulls no punches. Readers of candobetter.net will know that there are a lot of people who aren't too impressed with state government fuel management programs. See similar pages on bushfires and on black cockatoos. These birds are wonders of nature, personalities in their own right, and incomparably beautiful. How could anyone allow them to perish?)

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