Why do humans think they own the planet? Are we as a species so ignorant of basic ecology that we would continuously deprive the very creatures who make the forest of anywhere to roost? It is frightening to watch this attitude balloon into what could potentially be not only suicidal but ecocidal.
After Hendra virus was found in a Queensland dog recently, and a total of 14 HeV infected horses died or were put down since June 20 this year, Queensland opposition Liberal National Party (LNP) leader Campbell Newman suggests smoke bombs and choppers to evict urban bat colonies then the roosting trees should be cut down. Failing what he refers to as 'humane relocation of colonies,' he recommends that the bats be 'culled.'
Premier Anna Bligh issued warnings to the media from scientists that moving bat colonies out of populated areas would increase their stress levels and could worsen the spike in Hendra virus cases. She announced that Qld and NSW would increase Hendra virus research funding by $6 million over the next three years.
Charters Towers Mayor Ben Callcott went even further. He is quoted as saying that he backed the use of helicopters but said culling rather than smoke-bombing was the real solution. He said "Bats are the same as dinosaurs, we have got no dinosaurs and we should not have any bats either."