"Official Western institutions have never recognised Assange as a prisoner of conscience,why do you think that is?" Oksana asks Greg Barnes. After almost a decade in confinement, Julian Assange is still fighting against extradition requests to the United States, at cost to his physical and mental health, while also compromising WikiLeaks’ ability to continue its operations.
Victorian Kangaroos need your signature on this petition! They have been decimated by bushfires and the Victorian Government estimates of numbers are way out. The Mornington Peninsula contains a landlocked group of grey kangaroos that are menaced by several processes, including increased development, traffic, fencing, shooting, and the so-called Kangaroo Harvest Program (KHP). These animals need our help and protection. The petition calls upon the Victorian Government to suspend its 'harvest' program. See below.
Legislative Council E-Petitions https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/council/petitions/electronic-petitions/view-e-petitions/details/12/320
Click here to sign
The Petition of certain citizens of the State of Victoria draws to the attention of the Legislative Council that kangaroos culled through the Kangaroo Harvest Program (KHP) and the Authority to Control Wildlife (ATCW) has been a contentious issue for a long time in the Mornington Peninsula community. The Victorian Government appear to be over-inflating kangaroo numbers as their count excludes large parts of the state’s landscapes, meaning that kangaroo numbers could be grossly overestimated.
During the black summer bushfires of 2020, approximately 3 billion wildlife were killed, injured or displaced. The Victorian Government estimated that in 2020, the kangaroo population increased by 40 per cent, which macropod experts claim is not scientifically possible. Kangaroo numbers based on ATCW permits highlight that the counting of kangaroos for the KHP is not based on science. Kangaroos in the Mornington Peninsula are under threat from increased development, traffic, fencing, shooting and now from the KHP.
The Mornington Peninsula is an isolated and landlocked area and is home to the Eastern Grey Kangaroo population. Threatened species were once common and perceived as pests and we hope to ensure that kangaroos in Victoria, especially in the Mornington Peninsula, do not become threatened.
The petitioners therefore request that the Legislative Council call on the Government to suspend the 2021 Kangaroo Harvest Program (KHP), apply improved and accurate methods of counting kangaroos and move the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council out of the KHP Gippsland zone and place it in the Metropolitan Melbourne zone.
Campaspe Shire has introduced a great new horse welfare change to its Echuca and District Livestock Exchange. It will no longer accept horses that do not have clear origins and destinations. Let us hope that other shires will follow this example. As you may read in Horses need an identity urgently, Victorian laws are extremely irresponsible towards horses, and many horses suffer greatly in this state.
Echuca & District Livestock Exchange
Echuca & District Livestock Exchange will no longer accept horses that are "on delivery"/ "depot horses"/ "in transit" / "on consignment".
- Effective 2 September 2019.
Echuca & District Livestock Exchange ("the facility") is a Council owned facility that is open to agents and private operators to utilise the Livestock Exchange under a formal User Agreement prepared in line wiht Council's accreditation under the National Saleyards Quality Assurance Program.
Council is committed to animal welfare, compliance, occupational health and safety - personal injury, biosecurity and the monitoring of livestock that move in and out of the facility.
Horses that are "on delivery"/"depot horses"/"in transit"/"on consignment" pose a serious biosecurity threat and disease outbreak risk to the facility and other livestock. There is no traceability or record of the horses' previous or outgoing locations, nor their previous or new owner's details. Council also has no control over the condition that the hores are in when delivered at the facility.
Therefore, as of 2 September 2019, Campaspe Shire Council will no longer accept these horses at the Echuca & District Livestock Exchange facility.
Council seeks your assistance to pass this advice on to all relevant parties involved in the supply chain of horses that may have dealings with hornses on delivery at the Echuca & District Livestock Exchange and advise alternative delivery arrangements will need to be made. This may include, but is not limited to, your staff, buyers, abattoirs, horse transport companies and vendors.
Please note that the Andrew Wilson & Co horse sales will continue as per usual and the staff will be strictly monitoring the condition of the horses included in the sales upon delivery to the facility.
Should you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact the Echuca & District Livestock Exchange Manager on 03 5482 2851, or alternativesly, Council's Commercial Operations Manager on 03 5481 2200.
Campaspe Shire Council
Cnr Hare & Heygart Streets
Echuca VIC 3564
PO Box 35 Echuca VIC 3565.
Tel: 1300 666 535 / 03 5481 2200
Email: [email protected]
ABN: 23 604 881 620
We cannot let an internationally famous Australian icon become extinct in its natural habitat. South East Queensland has entered the final phase of the extinction of its biodiversity, with mega-developments gone mad and the loss of Koalas mounting as Koalageddon increases exponentially. Eastern Australia was a recognised international hotspot for biodiversity and unfortunately is now part of an internationally recognised de-forestation hotspot ! The only one in the "developed" world. How could this happen in Australia??? This is simply not acceptable to many people.
Please help me to help Koalas and either donate if you can or/and share this post to support my Koala GoFundMe at https://www.gofundme.com/Koalas-in-Crisis-Ambulance-Fuel Many thanks, Ted Fensom.
A no whip rule would place all jockeys on equal terms in their efforts to win races, whilst avoiding suffering to the horses.
A horse's reaction to a whip has been compared glibly to their reaction to a fly landing on their coat: "When a fly lands on a horse, it flinches," we are told. Thus we are supposed to infer that when a horse flinches under the whip, they are not experiencing any more pain than they would with the landing of a tiny insect. But this is a false analogy with the effect on a horse that is being whipped or flogged for the purpose of making it go faster. Furthermore, some horses reject whips being used and at times jack up and refuse to run.
The “fly episode” landing on a horse has little effect at all. It annoys the horse and the horse flinches, BUT the whip certainly inflicts a certain amount of pain/suffering.
The “experts” tell us that jockeys carry the whip for safety reasons, but according to 'research' that doesn’t stack up either. We have witnessed many jockeys not having to use the whip at all.
At times riders are charged and fined for “overuse of the whip” - but exactly what does this mean?
If the stewards in their own minds OR within the rules of racing come to the conclusion that any horse in any race has been subjected to “overuse" or that a rule has been broken, then, in the opinion of the community, it means only one thing: that a rider has inflicted pain/suffering to the horse under their control to make it go faster!!
If there is an alleged act of cruelty, this offence must be prosecuted by the independent authority (RSPCA OR DEPI) with the power to lay charges under the Prevention of Cruelty To Animals Act (POCTA). Naturally there should first be an investigation, but not by Racing Victoria Limited (RVL) or the stewards. That would be too much like Dracula in charge of the blood bank!
In my opinion, RSPCA OR DEPI must investigate any alleged infringements by any organisation when it comes to an allegation of cruelty to any creature, great or small, irrespective whether or not there is an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in place. Some think that MOU really means, 'You don’t investigate any cruelty on our turf. Stay away. We will do our own investigating.' RSPCA have a MOU with GRV and HRV. We think it is a cop out and that's the reason why we don’t hear anymore live baiting happening. Animal Cruelty Hotline Australia has lodged a complaint about the whipping of horses in the Melbourne Cup to the RSPCA.
Several riders were fined for “overuse” of the whip at Melbourne Cup recently, including the rider of the cup winner. The fines were for petty amounts.
If whipping had occurred in a carpark outside of the racecourse, there would have been hell to pay and charges would certainly be laid.
Overuse of any contraption is virtually an allegation of cruelty when investigated and should be treated as such.
Show jumpers do not use whips at all and their safety is always in contention. Harness racing has abolished, or is about to abolish, whips.
I do not in any way favour regulating the whip, making rules about how the whip should be used or how much. The stewards favour rules like, “If you hit the horse more than x amount of times we will fine you."
But, with rules like that, there will always be times when riders will overstep the mark, knowing that they only risk a small fine. That is why we favor a 'no whip rule'.
We at Animal Cruelty Hotline deplore the use of any artificial contraptions: whips/spurs/prods etc that always involve pain or suffering in order to ramp up the performance of any animal.
In essence the 'no whip rule' is recommended as mandatory in racing to alleviate any suffering of animals. A no whip rule would place all jockeys on equal terms in their efforts to win races and, if jockeys were still of the belief that they were in need of a safety blanket, then it’s back to jockey school for them to relearn how to use “hands and heels.”
Animal Cruelty Hotline 1800751770 free call to report animal cruelty/abuse
Horses need an identity urgently, but in the State of Victoria there currently is no system nor accountability to accurately determine the number of horses. Nor is it compulsory to register them, unless your horse is a particular breed, in some cases. Some horse breed associations RVL, HRV, require mandatory registrations of both horses and owners, whilst other horse breed societies don’t subscribe to any such manner of registration. Editor: We have put this article up at the top of the front page again in view of the ABC program, "The dark side of the horse racing industry," broadcast 17 October 2019.
Victoria is undoubtedly a very large populated horse industry and, as the welfare of horses, in the opinion of experts, is maintained by the above-mentioned, cruelty and abuse is rife and expanding, as our database and evidence of proof show. Horses must be registered. The animal welfare agencies that are privileged to have the monopolized responsibility to enforce the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (POCTA) in this state are overloaded. Resourses, so they tell us, are limited. Furthermore, horses are not consistently categorized as livestock or domestic animals within the animal welfare act. In consequence, they unfortunately fall between the cracks of the animal welfare system!
The upshot is that policing is left to voluntary rescue organizations, and the community, to report infringements that are observed. This also put a heavier burden on the authorized
protectors. Councils and Shires also have the responsibility to investigate animal welfare complaints within their areas but seldom do. In any case they always pass the complaint onto RSPCA where once again the burden overloads!
The initiative or the ability to perform duties to investigate animal welfare complaints appears unfruitful within some councils. This, even though most local laws officers have been
endorsed by the minister for “general inspector qualification 18”. At times ti seems they do not enforce the action, through inexperience!
An exception is the local laws in South East Victoria. There is a great record of animal welfare within their shire, as proven by their ability to prosecute all offences under POCTA. Horses are a great contributor to the economy of Victoria through many outlets, for instance racing, trotting, breeding, pleasure, and as a companion animal. Unfortunately, however, many end up at the slaughter yards or sent overseas for human consumption.
The complaints we receive at Animal Cruelty Hotline must be passed onto the appropriate authorities but without any feedback forthcoming from these two authorities that claim, “privacy laws inhibit us to allow feedback!” Racing Victoria and Harness Racing have a duty of care to monitor their members regarding infringements of cruelty and abuse and should not leave it up
to RSPCA alone to investigate problems.
This government must undertake to introduce mandatory registrations/ micro chipping for all horses which will then give them at least an identity and will then curtail the continuance of abuse, cruelty and neglect.
The government introduced new "Puppy Farm laws" "to control abuse, cruelty and indiscriminate breeding." Well Minister, the same alleged abuse happens within the horse industry and, at present, anyone can hang out a shingle in the front paddock and say, "Here I am. I am a dealer/breeder. I can breed anything I like and sell the product without fear of intervention, no license, no experience needed."
We register all other animals before sending them off to sale yards, including cattle, sheep, pigs, calves - all ear-tagged and/or tattooed sowhy not register horses? There is no difference between puppy farming and horse farming, in this respect. Cruelty has no monopoly. It belongs to all and it exists within the horse industry, where a permit or license to trade or breed is not needed. Animals will still suffer.
In conclusion the state government cannot keep their heads buried in the sand whilst these animals, which helped settle this country, ploughed the fields, went off to war (none came back,) continue to suffer without the privilege of the mandatory requirements of all creatures great and small!
Defining the correct category in POCTA is a must and should be supported by more resources and aid to fight the war on cruelty and abuse to an animal that is not categorized as an identity!!
***. . Barrie TAPP Animal Cruelty Hotline Australia Operates 24/7. To report animal cruelty anonymously free call 1800751770 anytime/anywhere 24/7.
Greensbush Association is screening the new international film about Kangaroos in Australia at 5.30pm May 25th at Main Ridge Community Hall, Main Creek Road, Main Ridge, (Mornington Peninsular) Victoria. This film has been screened and reviewed widely around the world to stunned reviews and I have not found any negative ones. It is not so well known in Australia, of course, because it challenges what governments and corporate press have to say about kangaroos. The Association screening this film is named after Greensbush Mornington Peninsular National Park, which is one of few places where kangaroos might now dwell in comparative safety, were it not for people on neighboring properties who treat them like pests and the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning which encourages this redneck approach to wildlife. Victorians will be concerned to hear that this film tells how the West Australian Commercial Kangaroo Meat industry is running out of kangaroos and planning to open up in Victoria. Of course the grubby Victorian Government is looking for any excuse to get rid of our wildlife. Turn up to this film-screening and maybe you can network with fellow wildlife warriors. The kangaroos need all the help they can get. If you doubt this, check the film out. Donations to cover the cost of the film and venue hire. All welcome! Map to venue at end of article. You can hire this film, host a screening, from kangaroothemovie.com.
"Essentially, the film examines how the roo industry - both for meat and skin - has stealthily and very profitably capitalised on two words - “pest” and “plague” - to run itself in a chaotic, slipshod, unhygienic, inhumane and seriously under-regulated fashion. We are introduced to whistle-blowers, activists and politicians who are advocating not so much for revolution as transparency, while farmers and industry reps are also given their say.
The film does have a point of view, though, and a strong one, and will doubtless cause some consternation among those who don’t want their ways challenged. The thing that shines through, however, is the integrity of the McIntyres: they didn’t set out to challenge an industry, they simply learned about it, and what they learned, we all, as Australians who love Skippy, need to know." ("Nightlife," http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/nightlife/cj/9546930)
"To avoid a nonstop focus on bloodshed, “Kangaroo” occasionally offers up images of the outback and drone footage of wild animals in their habitats. Those can be breathtaking. Yet the filmmakers, to their credit, don’t flinch from stomach-turning sights. This film isn’t always pretty, but its message is necessary." (New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/18/movies/kangaroo-a-love-hate-story-review.html)
The cover photo is of one of the 13 ringtail possums brought into care at stage 1 of VicRoads' clearing. (See "VicRoads mulch wildlife on Mornington Peninsula -AWPC intervention".) She had a deep facial injury which eventually recovered; she has since been released back into the wild. She was one of the lucky ones, many animals were mulched alive or run over by the heavy machinery that VicRoads used. Autumn has arrived and re-planting of the cleared median strip has not commenced, I would assume that it’s because they haven’t yet finished installing the safety barriers. This begs the question why did they go ahead and clear in spring, if they were going to take this long to complete the barriers? They could have left nesting birds to fledge.
Eve Kelly, Secretary
Australian Wildlife Protection Council Inc.
Abusive breeding of arctic foxes by the fur industry in Finland. Finland's Frankenstein foxes - weighing five times their normal weight, unable to stand for long, with huge pelts that hang over their eyes and form rolls on their bodies, kept standing with their soft paws on wire floored cages that give them little room to move, fed pulped animal offal that they cannot bite. I had no idea that Norway held such disgusting and unbearable secrets, close to equaling the Chinese bears milked for bile.
Fur farmers in Finland have been selectively raising foxes to be at least five times larger than a normal fox. Animals used for fur already suffer enough in their miserable cages before being brutally killed, now they cannot even move much or stand up because of their grossly overweight bodies and weak legs. Also, systematically, their eyes appear to be infected. The Finnish government has said that fur farmers do not even need to give them water in the winter. Furthermore, they will not do anything to improve the animals' quality of life. PS: In general, fur bearing animals are never vetted because it is less expensive to let them die than to pay for veterinary services.
Why? The Finnish fur farmers can use one single fox to produce at least 5 times de amount of fur than by killing normal sized foxes. Their greed has made them devoid of any compassion for the very sentient beings that are enriching them. Even more worrisome are these facts:
1) Finland is cooperating with the Chinese fur industry. and at this point, they
might be already negotiating with China to export these poor monsters to
Chinese fur farmers.
2) One cannot guarantee that they aren't planning to export these specimens
to be raised on fur farms around the world.
INEVITABLE CONSEQUENCES: Arctic fur which is now unaffordable to many, will be cheapened out so most people can afford it. This means prices will not longer be an obstacle and the fur trade will have won the battle. QUESTION: Would a government that accepts this type of immorality in their own country not consider selling it to other countries? Let's NOT wait to find out!
Send a message to the Norweigan authorities
Please send the letter to the authorities listed below. These are their emails:
[email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected];
Jari Leppä, Animal Welfare; Timo Soini, Foreign Affairs Minister, Antti Häkkänen Minister of Justice, Jussi Niinistö Minister of Defence, Anu Vehviläinen Minister of Local Government and Public Reforms, Sanni Grahn-Laasonen Minister of Education, Sampo Terho Minister for European Affairs, Culture and Sport, Jari Leppä MInister of Agriculture and Forestry, Mika Lintilä Minister of Economic Affairs, Jari Lindström Minister of Employment, Pirkko Mattila Minister of Social Affairs and Health, Annika Saarikko Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services, Kimmo Tiilikainen Minister for Housing, Energy and the Environment; Risto Lahti; Tuula Hedlund
Dear Sir or Madam,
I was shocked to learn about the "Frankenstein" methods being used by fur farmers in Finland to produce monstrous looking foxes that are bigger and weigh 5 times more than a normal fox in the wild. The poor animals with bent legs and often with eye infections cannot do as much as walk around their miserable cages. It is shocking that a country which calls itself civilized can so grossly disconsider the ethics that are applied to all sentient beings on our planet. All for greed. You are not only selling yourself cheap at the expense of innocent animals, but you are also bringing your country down to the same level as those of savages. Surely, a large percentage of Finns are against such immorality, and yet you are not paying attention to their call. Instead, you are purposely inflicting pain and discomfort on innocent victims which you use to become rich. The least you could do is to observe some ethics to treat them with a minimum of decency and compassion.
ADDITIONALLY. You have accepted and stated that fur farmers do not even have to give water to the animals during the winter, and they must survive with snow and ice. You ought to try that on yourself and your family to see just how "refreshing" it is.
Fur farming is highly unethical because fur animals were born to be free in the wild despite the fur trade's claims that it is OK because they are born in captivity. If you were born in captivity, you would still have human instincts and still suffer terribly.
We ask that farm animal welfare is taken seriously in Finland. In addition we demand that the criminalities and flaws inside the fur industry be brought to an end.
Thank you for your attention.
ADD: Your name & country
Clearing our Koalas Away is a damning new report by Dailan Pugh (North East Forest Alliance, July 2017) that puts together intensive logging maps recently obtained via Freedom of Information, and the EPAs new koala habitat model. [Candobetter.net Editor: This article is republished from The North East Forest Alliance site at nefa.org.au. There is also an article about this by Sue Arnold at Independent Australia: Koala extinction looms on NSW North Coast due to Government 'vandalism'.]
The principal findings of this review are that:
Within the 103 State Forest compartments currently being actively logged on public land in north east NSW there are 4,663 ha of modelled high quality Koala habitat and 357 Koala records.
The identified protection for Koalas in current logging entails 2 Koala High Use Areas totalling 1.2ha from which logging is excluded and the identification of 15% of the high quality habitat as "Intermediate Use Habitat" where 5 feed trees of any size are required to be retained per hectare. This is mere tokenism.
Thirteen of the 20 current logging areas with >17% high quality Koala habitat are being targeted for logging intensities (regeneration and heavy Single Tree Selection) involving up to 60-86% basal area removal in blatant contravention of the Integrated Forestry Operations Approval (IFOA's) limit of 40% basal area removal.
During the period when it was practiced from 2000-2010 over 10,000ha of forests in the Lower North East region were allocated to Australian Group Selection patch clearfelling, incorporating 6,460ha of high quality Koala habitat, despite a prohibition on the use of AGS in "intermediate" Koala habitat.
Since 2006 in the Lower North East region. the Forestry Corporation have subjected 74,906 ha to the unlawful logging practices of 'medium', 'heavy' and 'regeneration' Single Tree Selection involving 41-100% basal area removal. This is comprised of 23,742 ha (32%) of high quality Koala habitat and 717 Koala records.
Of the unlawfully logged area, 23,340 ha has been subjected to 'heavy' and 'regeneration' STS, comprised of 39% high quality Koala habitat, in what amounts to clearing and conversion to quasi plantations.
Over the past 10 years the Forestry Corporation have progressively and unlawfuly converted half of the logging area of the proposed North Coast Intensive Zone in the Lower North East Region to "quasi plantations", with the proposed zoning to give retrospective approval.
There have been no records of Koalas from 41% of the current logging areas encompassing high quality Koala habitat, and no records for at least the past 9 years in 12% of the areas. Records over the past 20 years indicate that Koalas are in decline across State Forests.
There needs to be an urgent intervention to stop the accelerating degradation of Koala habitat in north-east NSW. Surveys need to be urgently undertaken to identify all areas containing remnant Koala populations. Identified areas, along with sufficient additional areas of potential Koala high quality habitat and habitat linkages, need to be fully protected to establish viable populations across the landscape.
The Baird government's controversial biodiversity laws have passed their final hurdle in parliament, with NSW farmers set to get greater power to clear their land from next year. The legislation will replace the Native Vegetation Act, which was designed to prevent mass land clearing. Thousands of possums, quolls, koalas and gliders will be killed each year if Premier Mike Baird scraps our tree-clearing laws. Nationals MPs, big agri-business and developers want to allow landholders trash our precious woodlands and urban bushland by replacing the Native Vegetation Act with weaker tree-clearing controls.
The Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP
Minister for the Environment and Energy
End the senseless destruction of our wildlife - stop the carnage and destruction in NSW
The Baird government's controversial biodiversity laws have passed their final hurdle in parliament, with NSW farmers set to get greater power to clear their land from next year.
The legislation will replace the Native Vegetation Act, which was designed to prevent mass land clearing.
Thousands of possums, quolls, koalas and gliders will be killed each year if Premier Mike Baird scraps our tree-clearing laws. Nationals MPs, big agri-business and developers want to allow landholders trash our precious woodlands and urban bushland by replacing the Native Vegetation Act with weaker tree-clearing controls. These changes will:
-add extinction pressures to our state's 1000 threatened species;
-threaten our clean, reliable water supplies;
-turn our fertile land into wasteland through erosion and salinity;
-put landmark trees and bushland at risk; and
-add further to Australia's carbon pollution.
In 2015, a study by NSW Parks and Wildlife found that 60,000 hectares was being cleared per year in the state — a four-fold increase on previous State Government figures.
Professor Hugh Possingham warned that rather than protecting biodiversity, the laws would allow a doubling of broad-scale clearing that would put some native animals at risk of extinction.
The primary objections of Professor Possingham are that the government is proposing self-assessable codes that will result in broad-scale land clearing, thus degrading soil, water and biodiversity, and that the ‘no net loss’ standard against which clearing should be measured has not made the draft legislation. Despite the weight of scientific expertise opposed to the legislation the Baird Government has pressed on regardless. How are those with short-term, vested interests in monetary gain, allowed to determine their own rate of land clearing? Environmental protection is in everybody's interests, and that of future generations. Eradicating habitat is a silver-bullet for more threatened species, and native flora and fauns extinctions - already we have one of the highest rates in the modern world! Tourist come to see, and rightly expect to see, our wonderful mega-diverse range of iconic native species - vegetation, marsupials, birds, and other native wildlife. They don't want to see barren, cleared landscapes, urban sprawl and industries!
The current laws are supposed to prevent that kind of clearing without permits. The changes, which the government says were developed through a "rigorous, transparent, scientific and evidence-based process," allow farmers more freedom to clear their land without having to find equivalent areas of offsets. This is vandalism, and not only will we lose precious biodiversity functions, and native animals/birds, but we will see more desertification in the future - hardly the route to more production and more food!
The Sydney Basin, for instance, has some 1900 koalas under limited protection, with about 300 of the marsupials resident near Campbelltown one of the areas with rapid housing growth. This is because our rate of immigration is set on full-throttle levels - and not inevitable.
Last year 47,000 native animals and birds were killed in NSW by property owners using a "s121 licence". Each licence strictly controls the number of animals permitted to killed, and requires data to be lodged with the Office of Environment and Heritage. The office issued permits for 34 species, or a total of 145,550 animals and birds to be killed in 2015-16. This included more than 100,000 eastern grey kangaroos, almost 9000 corellas, 6500 sulphur crested cockatoos, 5500 galahs, 655 emus, 175 swamp wallabies, 113 wombats and 83 magpies. What sort of department of "Environment and Heritage" actually gives out so many permits to kill off native species? Some Orwellian oxymoron? They are killing off the ENVIRONMENT, habitat, biodiversity and vandalizing NSW's natural HERITAGE. How can this horrendous carnage be permitted, or justified?
Almost 1000 species of plants and animals are currently endangered in NSW, mainly due to land clearing. Over 40% of the state has already been cleared for agriculture, mining and development purposes and of what’s left, just 9% is in good condition. This leaves very little room for our native animals to maintain their homes. Since the "bad old days" of colonisation, and ignorance, biodiversity has been in steady decline in NSW. For the last 10 years, previous Governments have been working hard to halt and improve this decimation of our local plants and animals, armed with two environment protection acts – the 1995 Threatened Species Conservation Act and the 2003 Native Vegetation Act. They aren’t perfect but the World Wildlife Fund reckons these laws have saved the lives of around 250 000 of our furry amigos to date, including koalas and other native animals.
So why the new Colonial land-clearing permits, a return to the dark ages of ignorance, and law-less-ness? What about the national laws and policies that protect our native species?
The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) is the Australian Government's central piece of environmental legislation. It provides a legal framework to protect and manage nationally and internationally important flora, fauna, ecological communities and heritage places defined in the Act as matters of national environmental significance.
Specifically, the EPBC Act aims to:
-conserve Australia? biodiversity
-protect biodiversity internationally by controlling the international movement of wildlife
-provide a streamlined environmental assessment and
-approvals process where matters of national environmental significance are involved
-protect our world and national heritage
-promote ecologically sustainable development.
So, why isn't this Act being implemented against the rogue Baird government? What are our Environment ministers doing to stop the Baird governments vandalism, and destruction?
Secretary, Australian Wildlife Protection Council
President of the National Dingo Preservation and Recovery Program Inc., research veterinarian and animal research ethics expert, Dr Ian Gunn, has called upon the Queensland Environment Minister, the Hon. Dr Steven Miles, to initiate and independent inquiry into cruelty and mismanagement of the dingo population on Fraser Island as a matter of urgency.
Collaring causing animals distress
Dr Gunn stated that the recent inappropriate collaring of a juvenile dingo, which had obviously put the animal in distress was the latest in a sequence of events which raise serious questions about animal welfare aspects of current dingo management practices on Fraser Island.
This incident involved the use of a cumbersome radio tracking collar on a juvenile dingo, which was purportedly being tracked for public safety reasons. Photographs taken by a tourist clearly show that the edges of the collar had worn away the fur on the dingo’s neck and would have unnecessarily interfered with the young dingo’s mobility and well-being. After pictures of the dingo were made public, the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service decided to remove the collar. However the young dingo was killed by a vehicle strike, incurring massive internal injuries, before the collar could be removed. “These events raise serious animal welfare questions” Dr Gunn said.
Ethics and duplicate tracking devices
Dr Gunn stated: “Why was a radio tracking collar used when ear tag identification was already attached to the dingo? What animal ethics approval had been obtained by the QPWS to use the collar for non-research purposes? If ethics approval was acquired, questions need to be raised about thoroughness of the approval process. Why was a collar also applied to this juvenile dingo’s litter sister, when no radio tracking was intended for that animal? There appears to be no consistent rationale for the use of the collars and serious questions about animal welfare are left without adequate answers”.
Unanswered animal welfare questions
These events follow an incident, in 2015, when another juvenile dingo was ‘humanely’ euthanased after allegedly becoming aggressive. Necropsy photographs obtained through Queensland Right to Information legislation point to severe physical trauma prior to death. Dr Gunn, who conferred with senior veterinary colleagues over the photographic evidence, concluded that the dingo had suffered massive internal bleeding in the abdominal cavity consistent with a heavy blow or impact prior to being put down through lethal injection to the heart. Yet, there is no discussion of this evidence in the inadequate official necropsy report. Dr Gunn stated that: “Again, we have evidence of unacknowledged animal trauma and unanswered animal welfare questions.”
Necropsy report , October 2015
Internal bleeding within abdominal cavity – severe pre-death trauma
Possibly the most serious dingo cruelty incident at the hands of Queensland wildlife authorities occurred on Fraser Island in May 2011, as part of dingo trapping for radio collaring research. The necropsy report for this juvenile male dingo reads like a horror story. Upon examination of the report at the time, Dr Ian Gunn stated:
In all my years as a veterinary surgeon, I have never witnessed anything like this. This animal died in agony while trapped and restrained as part of ‘research’ being conducted by Queensland government authorities charged with its protection. The necropsy report stated that the otherwise healthy dingo had been restrained for ‘some period of time’. It had been pinned down by a pole noose and pinning device. It had chipped and fractured teeth, extensive internal bleeding, including widespread bruising and haemorrhaging to the thorax, limbs, neck and lumbar spine region, bleeding from the eye, tearing of the muscles between the ribs and the chest wall, and congested and collapsed lungs. In its final moments of life, the dingo vomited its stomach contents into its airways.
Necropsy report 2011
The National Dingo Preservation and Recovery Program subsequently sent a solicitors letter to the relevant Queensland government departments and Ministers alleging serious breaches of the law and inadequate animal ethics practices relating to this incident. No acknowledgement was received, let alone action taken. Not one person was held to account.
“It is time for the buck to stop and it has to stop with either the Queensland Environment Minister, or the Federal Minister for the Environment who, because of Fraser Island’s World Heritage Listing, has compliance responsibilities under the EPBC Act”, Dr Gunn said. “The Queensland government’s claim that the Fraser Island dingo population is being managed ‘humanely’ is now in serious doubt. The only way to get to the bottom of this mess and possible cover up is to conduct a genuinely independent animal welfare inquiry into dingo management on Fraser Island.”
Recently I became very distressed to hear of a looming dispersal of hundreds of thousands of flying foxes at Bateman's Bay. I read the ecologist's report and Plan of Management, which strongly recommended against dispersal, then wrote a submission (on behalf of the Threatened Species Conservation Society) to Minister Greg Hunt and Eurobodalla Shire council. Since then I discovered that there are similar situations of smaller magnitude occurring here in Tweed shire, along with wherever they occur. So I wrote letters to the local papers. Following is my submission and letter to the editor. [Editor: This article, first published on 2016-06-09 was overlooked and has just now been put on front page, with a new date and thanks.]
Importance of this Flying Fox Population
We are living in the 6th Mass Extinction of species. Australia has the world’s worst record for mammal extinctions. Here is one more example of why the list of extinct species is growing – governments are failing to adequately protect the environment.
In their nightly foraging, flying foxes fly from tree to tree, dusted with flower pollen or eject the seeds of fruit eaten, inadvertently regenerating woodlands and forests by dispersing up to 60,000 seeds each every night. Many eucalypts produce most of their nectar at night to attract these exceptional pollinators. Flying about 20-50 km a night between food trees and their camp, this keystone species maintain the genetic diversity of native trees and reforest gaps. This ecosystem service will become increasingly important to facilitate the flow of adaptive genes between trees, assist plant movement and assist the survival of many other species.
As a keystone species already in decline and vulnerable to extinction, the protection of flying foxes is tantamount. If flying foxes become extinct we are doomed. Without flying foxes we would have no more forests including World Heritage forests and hardwood forests, melaleucas, banksias, eucalypts and about 1/3rd of all fruit that relies on flying foxes to pollinate them (bananas, cashews, avocados, dates, mangoes, peaches, paw paw, durian). Scientists regard the loss of pollinators as the most serious issue facing mankind.1.
The Bateman’s Bay population of grey-headed flying foxes (GHFF) is a Matter of National Environmental Significance (MNES) i.e. there has been a population of at least 10,000 every year for 10 consecutive years. But now there are over 100,000 flying foxes at Bateman’s Bay. There are estimated to be 680,000 GHFF total.
In the 2009 Recovery Plan it was noted that shooting flying foxes had diminished due to subsidies by NSW government for netting. However habitat loss is increasing and there is lack of food. For example extensive clearing on the coast for agriculture results in flying foxes losing weight, having higher mortality and lower reproduction levels. Their populations are not bouncing back. They are suffering ongoing deterioration in condition as they explore new areas e.g. inland Adelaide and Wagga Wagga. Due to food shortages they are forced to eat marginal food such as privet and green figs and are establishing satellite sites a distance from their camp.
Grey-headed Flying Foxes are protected by the National Parks & Wildlife Act, 1974, Threatened Species Conservation Act, 1995, Environmental Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act, 1999 and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature – Red List of Threatened Species.
Already flying fox populations are impacted by heatstress from very hot weather (>38 degrees C), droughts, cyclones, bushfire. They don’t need the additional threat of dispersal at a time when they are starving from lack of food sources.
Why create an exception just because local residents are unwilling to live in harmony with them? If dispersal is approved, it is likely to set a dangerous precedent for people in other locations to demand dispersal of flying foxes in their area too.
Why Dispersal Should Not be Approved
There is an overwhelming number of reasons why dispersal, especially of such a large camp, should not go ahead. As you may know from the review by Roberts and Eby of 17 Flying Fox Camp dispersals4:-
* In all cases, dispersed animals did not abandon the local area
• In 16 of the 17 cases, dispersals did not reduce the number of flying foxes in a local area
• Dispersed animals did not move far (in approx. 63% of cases the animals only moved • In all cases, it was not possible to predict where replacement camps would form
• Conflict was often not resolved. In 71% of cases conflict was still being reported either at the original site or within the local area years after the initial dispersal actions
• Repeat dispersal actions were generally required (all cases except extensive vegetation removal)
• The financial costs of all dispersal attempts were high ranging from tens of thousands of dollars for vegetation removal to hundreds of thousands for active dispersals (e.g. using noise, smoke etc)
We understand that previous attempts at Batemans Bay also were not successful, success being defined as no more conflicts, no flying fox mortalities and permanent relocation elsewhere. The following are more reasons not to disperse:-
• Dispersal is highly stressful for bats and often leads to injuries or fatalities
• Very expensive (for Batemans Bay $57,800 pd for dispersal team, $1500 pd for ecologist, $5000 for management team = $6.2 million + $1 million contingency plan for the 3 stages (first year only). More for subsequent years and must cover up to 3 years
• Dispersal is planned for July-August. Approvals and preparations may take 2 months in the months of May/June. However September-October is when the bats are in late stages of pregnancy or have dependent young so very high risk of mortalities/injuries then
• 70 personnel will be required over 8 weeks, 50% of whom need to be vaccinated (most will not be locals)
• Wildlife caring groups have to struggle to help injured and orphaned bats, pay for veterinary care all without adequate financial assistance from council or government when they are already stretched thin and short of volunteers
• In the week after dispersal begins, teams need to locate injured, orphaned and dead flying foxes (p.18 of Ecological Australia’s Camp Dispersal Plan recommends that ‘no deaths or injuries’ be permitted). Trigger to stop dispersal is visibly pregnant females or with young
• More power outages will occur as bats fly around longer each morning during dispersal, becoming electrocuted on power lines
• Animal cruelty issues
• Risk of dispersed bats dying of starvation or further losing condition since they are already hungry
• Only 5% chance of success
• Dispersal disturbs residents during pre-dawn (smoke, flashing lights and noise) for the first 8 weeks initially then thereafter each time there is a dispersal. The most distressed the bats are, the noisier which in turn disturbs residents
• Bats must relocate 20km minimum during which time there is increased risk of fecal drop and disease due to stress
• Bats could relocate to unsuitable locations during dispersal for which council would be financially responsible to manage. Council could end up bankrupt if there are too many unsuitable relocations and ongoing dispersals
• As a species vulnerable to extinction in the next 25-100 years, dispersal risks their long-term survival. In fact 30% of the species died between 1989 – 1998 due to dispersals and since then their decline has been accelerated precisely due to dispersals and relocations.
• As a keystone species whose survival is required by many other species of plants and animals, their extinction would have far-reaching and devastating consequences for the entire Eurobodalla area, not just Bateman’s Bay.
FLYING FOXES COULD BECOME PERMANENT FUGITIVES AS THEY GO FROM PLACE TO PLACE, EXHAUSTED, STARVING, STRESSED, MOVED ON BY HUMANS WHOSE NEEDS ARE JUDGED MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE NEEDS OF A SPECIES ON THE TIPPING POINT OF EXTINCTION. THIS SITUATION WILL WORSTEN AS TIME GOES ON WITH INCREASING HABITAT LOSS DUE TO HUMAN OVERPOPULATION AND ENCROACHMENT INTO THEIR HABITAT.
Efforts to date
We understand that Eurobodalla council has already done the following in an attempt to deal with the situation, i.e.:-
• Cleared buffers between camp and properties
• Offered subsidised services (guerneys, car and washing line covers)
• Removed 12 cocos trees,
• Slashed, mowed, pruned
• Given out informational brochures on flying foxes
1) Education - It is critically important that residents, whether they are affected or not, clearly understand:-
a) The irreplaceable ecosystem services of flying foxes i.e. pollination of native trees (including World Heritage forests, hardwood forests, banksias, melaleucas, eucalypts etc) in the area. Flying foxes are the #1 pollinator of forests, who on their nightly foraging increase the genetic strength of plants, preventing inbreeding. Without flying foxes we would have no avocadoes, bananas, durian, cashews, dates, mangoes, peaches or paw paw. And without forests we would have less oxygen in our atmosphere.
b) Fears of disease from GHFFs must also be allayed since bats have no more diseases than any other wild animal and diseases like Lyssavirus and rabies cannot be contracted except via body fluids. It is not possible for humans to contract Hendra virus directly from flying foxes, only via infected horses.
c) A comprehensive education/advertising program must be undertaken to eradicate the common perception of bats as ‘pests’ to be culled or relocated. This should ideally include TV advertisements, articles and radio interviews so that Australians across the country become educated. Wildlife carers could be paid to take orphaned bats to schools so children can see how adorable they are and the reasons why they need our protection. I cannot overemphasise the importance of education as Australians commonly have an attitude that native animals (not just flying foxes) are ‘pests’. The prevailing public hysteria around bats needs to be defused urgently and that includes dealing with residents’ irrational fear of disease and the importance of wildlife-friendly netting for fruit trees.
2) Big Picture Explanation - Secondly, residents need to understand the reason why there are so many bats at Bateman’s Bay ie. we humans have taken away their habitat and therefore are now paying the price.
3) Tolerance - Help people learn to live in peace with flying foxes, such as:-
* Try to become quieter. Bats stress out and become noisier if people are mowing etc
* Double-glaze windows to cut down on noise.
* Park cars under cover.
* Place washing lines in the open away from trees and night-time flight paths.
* Use ear muffs at night to sleep and air purifiers for those who dislike the smell
It’s by far easier to adapt human behaviour to bats, than the other way around.
4) Repercussions - People need to seriously consider the adverse effects of no forests or native trees. What kind of future will there be for our children and grandchildren? How will they cope with less availability of certain fruits, less oxygen and more Co2 in the atmosphere from no forests?
5) Tourism Opportunities - Eco-tourism needs to be promoted so local businesses can flourish and benefit from the amazing spectacle of thousands of bats leaving their camp at sunset. This would help locals to appreciate bats for the increased tourism to their shire. Flying foxes have so many gifts to offer us if only we could get beyond the mental fixation that they are a nuisance.
6) Business Opportunities - Perhaps some enterprising person can start a business selling organic bat manure which is bound to be highly beneficial to gardens.
7) Improved gardens - Local residents can benefit from free fertiliser per compliments of the flying foxes. Some residents say gardening is impossible but bats aren’t flying around in the day. Perhaps those residents should try gardening in the daytime and not after sunset and pre-dawn when the bats are most active.
8) Deal-Breaking - Instead of spending $6-$7+ million on dispersal, council could:-
i) offer to buy back worst affected properties
ii) waive council rates for at least the period that flying foxes are present
iii) employ council officers to guerney residents’ driveways, cars etc regularly
iv) offer free air purifiers for house interiors
v) supply industrial grade ear muffs to help people sleep
vi) supply under-cover parking for those without a carport. Temporary carports can be as cheap as $150 from supercheapauto and quite durable
vii) offer the community the chance to spend this money any way they wish in lieu of dispersal e.g. new sports stadium
While all these ideas cost council money, the bottom line is they cost a lot less than dispersal without the disastrous impacts on threatened keystone species.
9) Getting to the Cause - The big-picture/long-term solution is to:-
• plant more flowering natives in bat-friendly areas (near water, in a gully) where people will never live nearby
• stop the deforestation of flowering eucalypts that flying foxes should be feeding on in winter which drive hungry flying foxes to the coast to ravage orchards
• create alternative flying fox roosting locations that include native food trees so that flying foxes don’t rely on orchards and therefore impinge upon humans. Non-residential urban areas such as parklands, golf courses and even cemeteries can be planted with a range of native trees that provide fruit (small-leaved figs) and nectar (eucalypts and melaleucas). This would provide feeding sites away from residential areas and corridors for them to travel between remnant forests. If these natural food sources are available when commercial fruit trees are bearing fruit, flying foxes are less likely to become a problem.
• a camp may be encouraged to move (which is not the same as forced relocation) and can be done by planting roost trees further away from houses. Surveys of flying-fox camps in New South Wales have shown that a distance of as little as 100 metres from neighbouring houses can be enough to reduce the noise level of a flying-fox camp to an acceptable level.
• Remove the lower branches of trees and clearing the understorey, to create a buffer between roosting animals and surrounding residents. Such actions would need to be undertaken carefully, preferably in conjunction with the creation of suitable habitat elsewhere, and subject to a monitoring program. Further research needs to be done into the factors influencing the establishment and persistence of flying fox camps.2.
• Low, dense trees and shrubs planted around fence lines also form a barrier that flying-foxes are unlikely to roost in3.
• Incorporate a buffer zone between the building and roost trees that ideally should not be paved or made of concrete in order to reduce mess problems. Plant low growing fragrant shrubs in this zone to minimise future encroachment by the animals into the site and reduce odour problems. Planting tall trees will only eventually bring the animals closer in to the development.
• Worst case scenario if everything else fails, dangle electric wire from the trees which the bats touch and it gives them a small electric shock, and then they go away. While it's only a small shock, still it's better than being killed.
10) All About Timing - The camp will reduce in size in the next few weeks or months so people could wait patiently, most of the flying foxes will leave when the flowering season of spotted gum, red bloodwood, and blackbutt begins to decline. Or at the very least wait till early February when juveniles will be independent, recommended by Ecologic Australia. Success is more likely if dispersal takes place when the camp is smaller and outside bats’ sensitive life cycles.
All affected residents at Batemans Bay moved into their houses knowing full-well that flying foxes lived nearby since they have had at least 10,000 flying foxes per year for the last ten years. It is reasonable to expect that the flying foxes would breed and expand their population (as with human populations).
For governments to bend over backwards and break important rules and regulations that are in place to protect our environment and especially threatened species to appease people who lack the tolerance, compassion and understanding of bats is a grave error, one that we will pay for long into the future should the bats become extinct.
The Threatened Species Conservation Society Inc. sincerely hopes that the Eurobodalla council and the Federal Government will at least try a bit harder to solve this problem instead of going down the route of dispersal which is guaranteed to fail and be hugely expensive, for the sake of our little forest-makers.
Letter to the Editor
Conflict between flying foxes and humans in our shire is so disconcerting. Humans have destroyed 75% of pre-colonial forests for logging, mining, livestock grazing, industries, cities and housing. We continue to take from the land whatever resources we need to make ourselves comfortable (computers, TVs, cars, refrigerators, mobile phones, iPads etc).
But when the flying foxes are too close to our schools and homes, screeching and squabbling all day with a smell we dislike, we scream ‘they have to go’! But where? We have taken away their habitat, their food sources and now they are becoming permanent fugitives as they go from place to place, exhausted, starving, stressed, moved on by humans whose needs are judged more important than the needs of a species on the tipping point of extinction. This situation will worsten as time goes on with increasing habitat loss due to human overpopulation and encroachment onto their land.
Flying fox populations have declined 95% in the last century and 30% since 1988 and are vulnerable to extinction. Their ecosystem services of night-time pollination is without compare. Every night they fly up to 50km dispersing approximately 60,000 seeds each. What does it mean if they become extinct? Simply this – no more World Heritage forests, hardwood forests, melaleucas, banksias, eucalypts and about a third of all fruit (including bananas, avocadoes, mangoes, peaches, pawpaw, cashews). And fewer trees mean less oxygen to breathe.
Our preoccupation with creature comforts is trivial in comparison. Shouldn’t we be incredibly grateful to this keystone species whose existence is critically important for so many other species including ourselves? Shouldn’t we be a bit more tolerant? From a bat’s perspective we are the ones who are stinky, filthy, noisy pests!
They are not the one with outrageously loud ‘music’ festivals and doof music blaring from their noisy cars and radios! They are not the one brushcutting, mowing on tractors, bulldozers and earthmoving equipment tearing up our habitat! Nor are they the ones stinking up the environment with their cigarettes, chemical sprays, chimney smoke and hazard reduction burns! Flying foxes are not pouring their feces and cow sewage into the ocean. No, it is us who are the pests. Additionally they are native whereas we are ferals having just arrived in this land 230 years ago.
Humans have had it good for too long. If we can’t live in harmony with other species in an ecocentric vs anthropocentric way, we too will head for extinction.
If aliens were watching us they would probably think we were the stupidest creature on the planet. Either that or that psychopaths were running the country.
If you have a heart please don't ignore this post - we need to let the whole world know what's happening. Boycott palm oil products now. Please donate to the campaign. Because of forest clearing for palm oil, in just the last 20 years 90% of orangutan habitat has already been destroyed. If deforestation continues at this pace, orangutans could be extinct in the wild as early as 2015, and their jungle habitat could be completely gone in 20 years from now. Donate at https://orangutanproject.worldsecuresystems.com/how-to-help/donate
A primate genocide and ecological
catastrophe on an industrial scale
is occurring in
some of the most valuable, sensitive and diverse ecological habitats on Earth –
all thanks to a cheap cooking oil we find in our supermarket products
Palm oil is a cheap and common ingredient in many foods and household
products, but as with everything apparently ‘cheap’ – it comes at a terrible
cost. Vast swathes of pristine rainforest are razed to the ground every minute
to clear the way for palm oil plantations in countries such a Borneo, Sumatra,
Indonesia and Malaysia. The scale and speed of this deforesting
operation is staggering.
It tragically appears those people who are managing the palm oil business and
the workers carrying out the forest clearing work do not care if they destroy
the abundant and endangered wildlife that lives in the forests. In fact
deforestation workers are told to dispose of any wildlife that gets in the way –
no matter how inhumanely – which includes running over orangutans with logging
Because of forest clearing for palm oil, in just the
last 20 years 90% of orangutan habitat has already been
destroyed. It’s a difficult reality to let sink in.
If deforestation continues at this pace, orangutans could be extinct in the
wild as early as 2015, and their jungle habitat could be completely gone in 20
years from now.
If this information makes you angry it should – but there is something we can
do to help stop this disaster. It’s as easy as stop buying products with palm
oil as an ingredient, and help reduce the insane demand for this massively
Palm oil is found in loads of everyday products – from breadsticks to anti-dandruff shampoos (you know the one) – so please check the label every time you buy, especially if the products come from the big ‘discount’ supermarkets where supplier corners are cut.
Palm oil is not even healthy food for you – it’s bad for the heart. You could also help greatly by writing to companies and stores who source or sell palm oil and indicate you will boycott their products unless they pledge to eliminate palm oil from their source chain and products.
Finally please share this post widely to help spread the
word about this urgent and terrible ecological disaster across the
Most of these animals are stolen pets. All Chinese are not cruel, but this festival provides an economic excuse for the cruelest of thefts and practices, which many Chinese want ended: Open letter from Animal activist, Chantal Buslot: An animal rights lawyer in Beijing said that official claims that all dogs slaughtered for the Chinese Dog Meat Festival are bred by local dog farmers is false. Xiang said according to research there are no such farms and that all dogs are abducted from the streets. (http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/china-dog-meat-festival-2014-10000-dogs-be-slaughtered-yulin-summer-solstice-celebration-1451869) It is thought most dogs are pets or strays abducted from streets. Vendors then buy them for nine yuan (85p) and sell them for 25 yuan. People who steal the dogs make the biggest profits of all, the news agency said.
Criminal laws are broken
"Some of the animal thieves broke Criminal Law using weapons to threaten residents to hand over their dogs,"Li said.
(http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/china-dog-meat-festival-2014-dogs-sold-85p-cooking-solistice-hotpot-1452814) According to the 'Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, Part I-General Provisions, Article 2 states The tasks of the PRC Criminal Law are to use punishment struggle against all criminal acts to defend national security, the political power of the people's democratic dictatorship, and the socialist system; to protect state-owned property and property collectively owned by the laboring masses; to protect citizens' privately owned property; to protect citizens' right of the person, democratic rights, and other rights; to maintain social and economic order; and to safeguard the smooth progress of the cause of socialist construction.
As a concerned global citizen, I am worried about the beloved pets of families being stolen and sold for the YuLin Dog Meat Festival.
According to Chapter Three, Section V, Article 99 of the Chinese Constitution states the following Local people's congresses at various levels ensure the observance and implementation of the Constitution and other laws and the administrative regulations in their respective administrative areas.
Within the limits of their authority as prescribed by law, they adopt and issue resolutions and examine and decide on plans for local economic and cultural development and for the development of public services.
Is it not the duty of the Yulin government, and the Agriculture Ministry, to ensure Criminal laws are not broken and the Chinese Constitution is upheld? If this were implemented in the next couple weeks, then this YuLin festival would assuredly be closed down as a public health risk and because of the brutal killings of the cats and dogs of greater YuLin.
Please, President Xi, this is not about animal rights but about upholding Chinese laws that are there to protect all citizens. We urge you to please get involved and ask the appropriate committees to prevent future laws from being broken by canceling the festival.
The world is watching Yulin as this festival gets closer and it's terrified by what it sees.
Sincerely, Chantal Buslot Belgium [Animal Activist]
Health risks associated iwth the consumption of dog meat trade
More medical warnings link dog meat to rabies http://www.animals24-7.org/2015/03/18/more-medical-warnings-link-dog-meat-to-rabies/ Epidemiological investigations of human rabies in China - The results showed 19,806 human rabies cases were reported in China from 1996 to 2008, with an average of 1,524 cases each year... http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2334/9/210 https://youtu.be/TKOQIuHI3Eo
China dog meat festival sparks outrage everywhere in the world!
http://www.parismatch.com/Actu/Societe/Viande-de-chien-et-de-chat-Yulin-le-festival-de-la-barbarie-759642 Misleading advertisements of authorities
The cruel changes made by the Napthine Victorian Government to wildlife laws are another reason many might not have known to be glad that its term just ended. It reestablished wild dog control zones across eastern Victoria which go well beyond the three kilometre limit into public land established under Labor. It reintroduced trap types previously banned by Labor as cruel. It introduced a bounty system whereby recreational hunters (including those using bows and arrows) can kill dingoes (‘wild dogs’) for profit across large parts of eastern Victoria and in the Big Desert National Park in western Victoria. Bounties can be taken in the Big Desert region even though there are no wild dog control zones in that part of the state. It increased the period allowed by Labor between trap visitations to 72 hours. Labor had previously reduced the trap visitation time to limit cruelty. it introduced aerial baiting in Victoria, which had not been permitted by the Brumby Labor government. And that's not all.
(Illustration cropped from a photograph by Clive A Marks in an Age article entitled "In wild dog country, all death is merciless," by Melissa Fyfe athttp://www.theage.com.au/national/in-wild-dog-country-all-death-is-merciless-20081206-6sx0.html
The National Dingo Preservation and Recovery Program (NDPRP) today congratulated the Victorian Labor Party and Premier elect, Daniel Andrews, on a convincing win over the Baillieu/Napthine Coalition government.
NDPRP President, Dr Ian Gunn, said:
‘In a single term of office, the Victorian Coalition government proved itself incapable of even basic environmental responsibility and good will in a number of key areas. In having merged the departments of Agriculture and Environment, and heavily cutting staff in biodiversity management, the Coalition gave agriculture the upper hand at the expense of the natural environment and put Agriculture Minister (and former Victorian Farmer Federation President), Peter Walsh, in the driver’s seat on many important environmental issues. At the same time, Environment Minister, Ryan Smith, appeared largely ineffectual.’
In particular, Dr Gunn expressed dismay at the way in which the Coalition had systematically undermined the protective measures previously put in place by the Brumby Labor government to protect dingo populations in Victoria under Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act threatened species legislation.
Dr Gunn stated that:
‘Labor had established a balanced and responsible policy framework to ensure that farm livestock was protected from dingo predation, while also ensuring dingo populations were protected. Central to this arrangement was limiting the trapping and poisoning of dingoes and their hybrids to a 3 kilometer buffer zone at the interface of public and private land. Nevertheless, the Coalition appears to have set about undermining this win-win arrangement at the behest of narrow sectional interests who have historically looked upon the dingo as simply something to be exterminated.’
Dr Gunn called upon Daniel Andrews to reinstate the protective measures for the dingo put in place in 2010 under former Labor Environment Minister, Gavan Jennings.
‘Labor has expressed a commitment to correct the environmentally destructive decisions of the Coalition government, such as the reintroduction of cattle grazing in the Victorian high country; we call upon Daniel Andrews to apply the same restorative justice to the issue of dingo conservation. Labor should reinstate its earlier decisions on this issue. Anything short of this would be a mockery of Victorian threatened species legislation.’
Dr Gunn highlighted the Coalition actions which were used to systematically undermine the dingo threatened species listing.
1. Re-established wild dog control zones across eastern Victoria which go well beyond the three kilometre limit into public land established under Labor.
2. Reintroduced trap types previously banned by Labor as cruel.
3. Introduced a bounty system whereby recreational hunters (including those using bows and arrows) can kill dingoes (‘wild dogs’) for profit across large parts of eastern Victoria and in the Big Desert National Park in western Victoria. Bounties can be taken in the Big Desert region even though there are no wild dog control zones in that part of the state.
4. Increased the period allowed by Labor between trap visitations to 72 hours. Labor had previously reduced the trap visitation time to limit cruelty.
5. Introduced aerial baiting in Victoria, which had not been permitted by the Brumby Labor government
Dr Gunn said it was of great concern that, while the dingo threatened species listing was nominally left in place by the Coalition, in real terms, the dingo in Victoria has less protection today than before the threatened species listing was put in place. The ‘wild dog’ bounty is particularly noteworthy in this regard.
Source: National Dingo Preservation and Recovery Program (Inc. A0051763G )
President - Dr Ian Gunn BVSc. FACVSc.
Secretary - Dr Ernest Healy
Date: Monday, December 1, 2014
An article by Kathy Lord, "Wildlife group 'pushed to the limit', in ABC News, typifies many mainstream press reports on kangaroos as it reports the phenomenon of kangaroos turning up in suburban and urban areas. This article entirely omits to criticise the cause, which is human overpopulation and expansion due to Australian and State goverments' undemocratic policy of inviting mass immigration from interstate and overseas. This needs to be exposed. The article, as stands, makes it look as if kangaroos are for some bizarre reason invading the city. This is grossly unfair and quite callous. The casual references to darting and euthanasia gloss over a completely avoidable problem that breaks the hearts of many Australians who just want the suburban expansion and its destruction of nature to stop.
"Wildlife group 'pushed to the limit' by growing number of calls for help for kangaroos in residential areas," relates sympathetically how growing numbers of displaced and injured wildlife are overwhelming the capacity of wildlife rescuers and carers. But it fails to show sympathy for the kangaroos; treating them like some insensate mass of troublemakers. The 'problem' seems largely reduced to one of getting the government to help Wildlife Victoria 'dart' the kangaroos. It hints blandly at mass euthanasia. It does not say where 2000 and more kangaroos might be placed, once darted, in what is a chronic displacement problem caused by government policy.
"Wildlife Victoria chief executive officer Karen Masson said since December 2012, the number of calls for help has increased rapidly. A large mob of up to 2,000 kangaroos has been displaced from new suburbs in the Mernda, Doreen and Whittlesea areas north of Melbourne. The animals head into residential areas for lush green grass and that is when they get into trouble,"
Lord makes it sound as if the kangaroos have somewhere else to go and are choosing, through some kind of gourmet impulse, to invade suburban gardens.
"The problem has forced Wildlife Victoria into a corner. The group says it can no longer afford to dart kangaroos, leaving it up to the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI). Ms Masson said the department has agreed to take over, but its darters only work between 8:00am and 6:00pm Monday to Friday.
The ABC asked to speak to a DEPI spokesman about the problem but the department only offered a brief statement.
"The Department of Environment and Primary Industries recognises the challenges of kangaroos in growth areas north of Melbourne and is working with Wildlife Victoria on the matter," the statement said.
This video was made in 2006 about a group of kangaroos marooned in Thomastown, which people tried to save. The situation has got even worse for kangaroos and that small clan is long paved over.
Journalists need to learn to present the situation more fairly
The author of "Wildlife pushed to the limit," and other journalists, need to learn to use more a balanced language and less biased terms when writing about kangaroos that are lost, isolated from their families and bewildered among crowds of humans and our noisy travel devices.
The kangaroo found near Sydney Road Coburg, (mentioned in the article) like the others who found themselves trapped in the airport carpark and one in the terminal, do not intentionally and deliberately cause chaos for humans.
To be fair, Kathy Lord did mention how wildlife groups are struggling with increased calls for help with distressed kangaroos, and how volunteers are overworked and understaffed, and wildlife groups are underfunded.
Many articles like this, however, make it appear as though kangaroos are somehow invading urban areas like some form of enemy aliens on the march to take over ‘our’ land, when in actual fact they were here long before humans.
We humans are the ones with ‘ballooning populations’ and ‘uncontrolled numbers’ (to use the words of the uninformed), who occupy their land.
Kangaroos and other wildlife have to contend with bushfires, ‘controlled burnoffs’, speeding vehicles, farmers & drunken shooters, sadistic morons in their utes, toxic sprays, polluted creeks from farm runoff, droughts and floods.
To add to that, human overpopulation and our urban and industrial sprawl are invading wildlife habitat and squeezing kangaroos out into the open making them vulnerable to further dangers.
Yet journalists continue to vilify these displaced roos with terms like ‘the kangaroo problem', ‘pests’ or ‘causing chaos’. These journalists neglect to inform the public of the real problems involved, especially the human problem.
Those who get to publish their own versions of kangaroo stories in major media outlets with wide coverage aren't getting the message out about what is really happening.
Articles like the above-mentioned often misrepresent the real situation, depriving the kangaroos of sympathy and understanding for their plight. They also deprive the community of a platform for necessary political action.
If you’re a journalist please take into consideration all of the above natural and human threats to kangaroos the next time you have an article to write on the topic.
There are 79 councils/shires in the state of Victoria . Each has in their employ at least two local laws officers and, in the larger towns there are up to 14 local laws officers on staff. For instance, Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat, City of Casey (13),Sale, Bairnsdale, City of greater Shepparton and many many more all have at least 5.
It would be true to say that all councils in Victoria have the ability and the authority to elect at least one local laws officer to represent an inspector, as defined in the “Prevention of cruelty to animals act” under section 18 defined as a “general inspector”, warranted and authorized by” the minister of the time”, to enforce the POCTA as such.
All it takes is the stroke of a pen. So, if this was considered by council, Victoria would then have the luxury of an additional 150 + officers to work under POCTA and RSPCA would then have the assistance of all officers around this state and I am happy to inform all, at no expense to the state government. The duty of care and protection for all creatures would therefore not be the responsibility alone of a private charitable organisation(such as RSPCA) to enforce a government act of parliament.
Casey Council has 13 such officers authorised to enforce POCTA (Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act), and other Councils should now follow this example. Casey Council have used the new “puppy farm laws” and was the first to bring about a prosecution under this new law, with great success.
If all councils allowed this to happen it would certainly help solve the animal welfare crisis that is occurring in this state. We have the redundancy of hundreds of DEPI personnel and RSPCA always “bemoaning” no recourses no man power, no money”. Well, wouldn’t the proposal that we have suggested be a great gift to animal welfare?
To think of over an extra 200 authorised inspectors “out there” helping animals. Who knows, we could possibly see the “emergency animal ambulance” starting up again. The RSPCA no longer services this. Animals might actually be physically rescued by these inspectors instead of private and volunteered personnel doing the work. Even - God forbid - an afterhours emergency cruelty “call-out service”, as cruelty surely doesn’t stop at 5 o’clock.
Barrie Tapp . I care!Do YOU?
The Labor Government in Victoria created these machinally destructive laws after the 2009 bushfires, but the Liberal Government has not questioned them. Those currently heading the Victorian animal holocaust are Dennis Napthine, Premier of Victoria (denis.napthine [ AT ] parliament.vic.gov.au),
Ryan Smith, Environment Victoria Minister (ryan.smith [ AT ] parliament.vic.gov.au) and
#10; [email protected]">Peter Walsh Minister for Agriculture (peter.walsh [ AT ] parliament.vic.gov.au).
Government burning off decisions arising from the bushfire commission seem mostly based on spin. They do not acknowledge in their methods to avert bushfires the predominant role of humans in starting them. Nature accounts for only about 6% of fires, mostly in the form of lightening. Ninety point nine per cent (90.9%) of vegetation fires are caused by humans through arson (35.2), through 'accidents' (36.2%), by 'incendiary' (? explosions etc) (13.3%), and through prescribed burns reigniting (5.4%). (3.9% are described as 'other'.)
"Bushfire, arson, what do we know now?" (the source of the above graph and figures) is a Productivity Commission report on the role of arson in creating fires. As we might expect of the economic technocracy, one of their recommendations is prescribed burn-offs to limit the arsonist's bang for his/her buck! In other words, do the job for them? Absolutely no regard or even a thought for the living creatures that suffer. The authors note that it is hard to stop arson in large vegetated areas. We note, however, that there has been a huge reduction in parks and forest staff on the ground, like rangers, since the Kennett government 1992-1999, with Labor governments continuing this folly.
Shooters encouraged in parks, but not wildlife carers
Whilst governments are gung-ho to allow shooters into national parks to 'control pests', what about compensating wildlife activists and carers who are willing to roster themselves in forests during the fire-season and to monitor animal welfare and visitor activity, day and night if necessary? People who care for injured wildlife and love the bush are very unlikely to set fire to habitat.
Faulty bushfire management compounds faulty climate change management
The values of the Liberal Government avoid the issue of climate change. Their population growth and development policies (like the Labor government's before them, despite the rhetoric) actively increase high carbon-emission producing activities and drying and warming of land. Much of Australia's carbon emissions come from land-clearing, but in Victoria (and Australia) the government is encouraging more new development, and consequently more land-clearing. As well, intensification of development means that people are confined to small airless and eaveless appartments which can only be cooled by air-conditioners, which put heat into the air outside and demand more coal-fired electricity to run. Victoria's grotesque 'planning policies' increase local heat island effect and the overall risk of the climate heating and drying. We note that Victoria is soon to subject VCAT to committee regulation that will see even less control over the 'planning' that is overrunning our democracy and heating our environment.
The mass media and government have avoided acknowledging the demonstrable fact that old growth forests burn much less than new or 'managed' forests. New forests and plantations dry through thinning or through repeated burnoffs which then favour combustible vegetation that survives fires, thus creating a man-made fire-vulnerable landscape and reduction to inland rainfall. The prescribed annual burn-off target greatly increases the drying of vegetated land and vegetation kinds. Trees not only create local 'heat islands' but vast old-growth forests cool vast portions of the environment as well as efficiently regulating below-ground and above ground hydration through transpiration.
For those who were in Victoria during the 2009 fires, and remember the heat leading up to the fires, the active promotion through legislation of these drying factors (although in guise of fire-precautions) is insane. At best it appears like gross incoordination of knowledge and policy; at worst it seems quasi-homicidal.
Government by the ethically bereft in Victoria and Australia
It is as if we are governed by a self-appointed moneyed caste which has lost all respect for nature, other species and the citizens of Victoria themselves. The environmental laws are flouted and then, when attention is drawn to this, our corrupt parliaments simply change the laws.
For those of us who grew up in a social environment that enjoyed the outdoors and strongly valued passive interaction with native wildlife, with a culture of wildlife protection and respect, this is shocking. We realise that we are ruled by a planning technocracy that has no higher human values, makes empty promises, speaks in cliches, and makes laws to advantage its members.
It has taken many of us decades to accept that this is really what is happening. At best we are witnesses to great callousness, at worst we are witness to the construction by elites of a kind of civilisation that is only concerned with enriching a small elite at the expense of their fellows and the total destruction of the natural world.
The people responsible are obviously not able to work out the ultimate consequences of their policies, which will see a so-degraded Austrlaia that survival for most, if not all, will become doubtful. They are also not scientists, except in the technologies that further their immediate wealth. They have no humane philosophies. If they are religious, it is with dogmas that blind them to consequences and help them to further their own immediate interests. They are like Steven King's Tommyknockers, whom education has equipped with "a limited form of genius which makes them very inventive, but does not provide any philosophical or ethical insight. Instead, it provokes psychotic violence."
This class is also ruling all states of Australia.
Inquiry into 2009 bushfires
The article below is a report on the inquiry into the 2009 Victorian bushfires, which were among the most frightening ever, occurring in deadly temperatures in the mid-forties. It shows the typical approach of the mainstream media, which always backs the status quo and attributes science and foresight to the establishment in its conditioning comments about how 'scientific evaluations have always been part of intelligent fuel reduction strategy' and its illogical conclusion that 'an effective wildfire control strategy must attempt to control fires throughout the forests. The paragraphs quoted below, however, also contain telling comments from environmentalists, but these paragraphs were right at the end of the full article, where most people never read. To consign these important observations to the end of the article, naturally diminishes their value in the readers' eyes. Also, note the use of 'experts' in the Royal Commission. Experts are usually part of the establishment. If you are not part of the establishment or disagree with it, then newspapers are unlikely to call you an 'expert'.
"Environmentalists, who for years have opposed fuel-reduction burns on the grounds that they damage the environment, have taken a new tack. The Greens, for example, now claim that they never opposed prescribed burning, but wanted a scientific evaluation of each burn conducted before it was approved, to ensure the survival of fauna and flora.
While this sounds reasonable, the fact is that these considerations have always been part of an intelligent fuel-reduction strategy, which must recognise that fires have been a natural feature of the bush, and it can be assumed that fauna and flora are adapted to survive low-to-moderate intensity fires.
[Candobetter comment: The huge arbitrary annual target promotes a regularity of holocaust that was never present in the environment where Australian animals evolved. Furthermore, this pyromaniacal target occurs in the most cleared state and where wildlife are threatened by many other intensifying and expanding processes. To cite evolutionary theory under these conditions is inappropriate and has grave consequences, as we see in the film above.]
Another line of attack, put forward by some environmental groups in central Victoria, is that the DSE should be setting fire to grass and weeds in close proximity to housing, rather than burning forests.
A spokesman for the groups said, "We cannot understand why DES fuel-reduction teams keep burning public forest blocks, when the dangerous areas closer to settlements are neglected." (Bendigo Advertiser, March 24, 2010).
Another member claimed that the DSE had produced no research analysing the effect of fuel-reduction burns on central Victoria's box-ironbark forests. The groups had adopted the motto, "Hazards not Hectares", to emphasise the need for burns in high-risk areas, rather than large areas of bush.
However, an effective wildfire control strategy must attempt to control fires throughout the forests, without neglecting high-risk areas close to human habitation. " (Source: "BUSHFIRES: Victoria changes tack on fuel-reduction burns," by Peter Westmore, News Weekly, April 17, 2010
 Such as those of Maryland Wilson, Malcolm Legg and Hans Brunner http://candobetter.net/?q=node/1012 and http://candobetter.net/?q=taxonomy/term/73over years on the Mornington Peninsula, attempting to link Greensbush National Park with Devilbend Reservoir, sundry then extant green paces and Frankston Reservoir. All eroded by development and then all prospects of a corridor completely destroyed - some would say gratuitously - by Peninsula Link - which could have provided many underpasses and overpasses but only provided one, in the Pines Flora and Fauna reserve, where the local Frankston Council then failed to use money allocated by government to install a predator proof fence to protect the local bandicoot population, which then became extinct. Now our only hope is a southern brown bandicoot program in the Werribee Zoo. Imagine! Needing a zoo to preserve this once common animal. Everything, from kangaroos to platypuses is now stuck in the remaining isolated and dwindling patches of habitat on Mornington Peninsula, which has been targeted for growth since Jeff Kennet made it part of Greater Melbourne. Instead of a green peninsula biosphere once touted, the Victorian government intends to build new roads and railway down to Hastings Port, of which 400 ha it then means for intensive industrial development.
 "GENERAL BUSINESS
7 JULY 2014
10. CHANGES TO THE VICTORIAN AND CIVIL ADMINISTRATIVE (VCAT) ACT
Planning Appeals Coordinator: Gareth Gale
General Manager Planning & Development: Stuart Draffin
The purpose of this report is to brief Councillors on changes made by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) Amendment Bill 2014.
On 1 April 2014, the VCAT Amendment Bill 2014 received Royal Assent, and became effective on 2 June 2014. No community consultation occurred as part of this Amendment.
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Amendment Bill 2014 contains substantial reforms relevant to the planning jurisdiction.
Most significantly, the reforms would enable the Tribunal to:
1. Invite a responsible authority to reconsider its decision at any time in a review proceeding
2. Make an order in relation to fees (including application and hearing fees), separate from its power to award costs
3. More actively manage the use and giving of expert evidence in proceedings
4. Make an order removing a person as a party to a proceeding if it considers that:
•??the person's interests are not affected by the proceeding; or
•??the person is not a proper or necessary party to the proceeding
5. Delegate certain functions of the Tribunal (such as making procedural orders or consent orders) to its registrars.
It is the first two reforms that are likely to be of most significance to Council. Below is a summary of those two proposed reforms.
New section 51A - Tribunal May Invite Decision-Maker to Reconsider Decision
In the context of the planning jurisdiction, this new provision would enable the Tribunal to invite a responsible authority (usually Council) to reconsider its decision at any time in the proceeding. The new section provides that on receiving the invitation to reconsider, the responsible authority may:
•??Affirm the decision
•??Vary the decision
•??Set aside the decision and substitute a new decision for it.
The new provision requires the Tribunal to ensure that, as far as possible, a proceeding's priority is not affected by inviting the responsible authority to reconsider its decision (unless the parties consent). As a consequence, the Tribunal may specify a timeframe within which a responsible authority may reconsider its decision.
One possible opportunity for Council to reconsider its decision might be following mediation and/or the amendment of plans. However, this process only seems warranted in order to avoid a hearing extending across multiple days – cases which are generally contained within the Major Cases List. Given there is clear intent in the new provisions to ensure a proceeding is not delayed further, coupled with the fact that all Major Cases List applications have hearings listed only six weeks after any mediation, it is difficult to contemplate under what circumstance this process will be useful.
It is further noted that Council already has the opportunity to reconsider its position during a VCAT process. As such, this change to the VCAT Act might not offer any new real change other than introducing a more formal mechanism to do so. This new process raises a number of procedural questions which are yet to be understood.
New Section 115 – New Power to Make Orders in Relation to Fees
This section provides that the Tribunal may, at any time, make an order that a party to
•??Reimburse another party the whole or any part of any fee paid by that other party in the proceeding;
•??Pay, on behalf of another party, the whole or any part of any fee that may be required to be paid in the future by that other party in the proceeding;
•??Reimburse another party the whole or any part of any fee that may be paid in the future by that other party in the proceeding; and
•??Require a party to pay the whole or any part of a fee in future in the proceeding.
The key area that this could be useful for Council is in Enforcement Order Applications (EAO’s). Given EAO’s are generally only made in the situation where Council is forced to do so, the Tribunal could award the reimbursement of the $802 fee to Council.
The new changes to the VCAT have been introduced with little forewarning or consultation.
The implications of the changes, and particularly those at the new section 51A, are unclear amongst those working within the planning profession. At this stage, there appears little opportunity to enact this new provision, particularly given there is clear intent in the new provisions to ensure a proceeding is not delayed further.
The new changes will be monitored to better inform our understanding of how they will affect Council and other stakeholders.
HUMAN RIGHTS CONSIDERATION
The recommendation complies with the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and
Responsibilities Act 2006.
That Council note this report."
 Quote from Wikipedia summary of the plot of Steven King's The Tommyknockers, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tommyknockers
If justice prevailed for these poor creatures, the people responsible would be placed in a dark dungeon forever to atone for allowing this to happen. The specimen letter inside this article responds to reports of the death of scores of animals in the Surabaya Zoo, Indonesia, and seeks the immediate closure of the zoo, immediate medical attention to be provided by trained veterinarians to all animals on site, and transfer of all enclosed animals to accredited facilities.
Consul-General Teguh Wardoyo
Consulate of Indonesia in Hong Kong
6-8 Keswick Street
Indonesian Economic and Trade Office to Taipei
Mr. Ahmad Syafri
6F, No. 550 Rui Guang Road
Taipei, Taiwan, 114
Taipei Economic and Trade Office in Jakarta
Mr. Andrew Li-Yan Hsia
Gedung Artha Graha, Lt. 17 Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 52-53 Jakarta 12190, Indonesia
Dear Sir, Madam, to whom it concerns:
I am writing to seek your support for the following:
-The immediate closure of Indonesia's Surabaya Zoo
-Immediate medical attention to be provided by trained veterinarians to all animals on site
-Transfer of all enclosed animals to accredited facilities
The news that has come out of Surabaya Zoo about the death of scores of animals is extremely disheartening to say the least.
Endangered animals such as Sumatran Tigers and Bornean Orangutan dying prematurely due to preventable illnesses and a lack of veterinarian care, emaciated camels, shackled elephants with wounds on their ankles, unable to take one step in any direction and the death of a giraffe due to the 20KG of plastic bags found in his stomach are only a few of the horrific problems that have been found at Surabaya Zoo.
None of the 5 Freedoms of Animal Welfare ( Freedom from thirst and hunger, Freedom from discomfort, Freedom from pain, injury, and disease, Freedom to express normal behavior, Freedom from fear and distress) are being met, which is a basic requirement that all zoos must provide.
Thanks to the reporting of international media outlets such as The L.A Times, The Huffington Post, The Age Environment, The Jakarta Globe and the UK Telegraph the international community is now aware of the horrific conditions animals suffer in at Surabaya Zoo. More than 200,000 people from around the globe have already signed petitions demanding the closure of the zoo.
To tackle the issues of neglect and suffering imposed upon the animals at Surabaya Zoo, I implore you to take immediate action to have the zoo closed and to have qualified veterinarians provide all affected animals with the medical care they so desperately require.
Now is the time for the government of Indonesia to show the world and, in particular, the people of Indonesia, young and old, that a new day has dawned and that the 5 Freedoms of Animal Welfare will not only be honoured, but mandated in government policy and all those who do not comply will be dealt with by law.
Indonesians deserve to be proud of their government’s stance on animal welfare. I, as a potential visitor to your country, would most definitely support tourism to Indonesia if it's animals are protected.
[Place your signature here]
My email to Minister of Agriculture: The Hon. Mr Barnaby Joyce, Jan 14th, 2014
Dear Hon. Mr Barnaby Joyce, Minister for Agriculture
A vet has voiced fears for any sheep being transported and held on live export ships at Fremantle Port as the mercury heads for potential record levels.
Temperatures have nudged 50 degrees near Onslow and Exmouth at the end of last week with a mass of warm air heating over the Pilbara. While you might be safely in air conditioned offices, there are sentient creatures who won't be so comfortable. Perth is warned to brace for extreme temperatures on the weekend as hot air from the Pilbara sweeps down over the city.
Livestock Shipping Services (LSS) vessel the Bader III is currently docked at Fremantle Port, but its export manager Paul Keenam said on Friday he did not know when the ship was due to leave port or if sheep would be transported by road on Saturday. The sheep won't be able to control their body temperatures, and suffer heat stress.
Vets against Live Animal Exports spokeswoman Heather Cambridge said she had studied heat stress in animals in detail and that if there was a ship holding animals in port, heatwave conditions could prove fatal. Dr Cambridge said animals at most risk were those loaded on a ship, but animals on the lower levels of trucks would also be in danger of suffering heat stress.
Animals shipped live from Australia can be confined on vessels for up to three weeks – that is 504 consecutive hours. High temperatures and poor ventilation can contribute to fatal heat stroke in cattle, particularly in those breeds whose physiology is ill-suited to hot climates. Sheep have shown a clear aversion to ammonia from their waste, and tests have shown that it adversely affects the welfare of steers.
The Cormo Express left Fremantle (Western Australia) for Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) carrying 57,937 sheep in 2003. Built in 1979 as a ‘roll-on-roll-off’ ferry, the Cormo Express had been converted to an 11-deck animal transporter in 1989. En route to Jeddah, 1.1% of the cargo (637 sheep) died. On arrival in the heat of Jeddah on 21st August, the shipment was rejected by Saudi authorities who claimed 6% of the animals suffered from ‘scabby mouth’. After almost 11 weeks at sea in extreme temperatures and humidity, one in ten, some 5,692 animals had died, mostly from heat stress and exhaustion while simply waiting in ports to be unloaded.
(Photo the property of liveexportshame.com)
21,000 Australian sheep sent to Pakistan have been killed en masse in the most brutal way. Workers stabbed and clubbed the harmless sheep and even buried them alive in the same pits dug for the dead sheep. This happened after weeks stuck on a ship in sweltering heat ... and then being confined in mud-filled pits with hardly any access to water and food and barely enough room to lie down.
One can only imagine the suffering these animals have endured while slowly dying due to illness, starvation,trampling or heat stress. The vast majority die in their crowded pens without any aid or treatment.
Despite efforts made by both the Australian Government and the live export industry to regulate the export process, tens of thousands of animals continue to die every year while being exported. (and they're said to be the "lucky ones"!)
Our government is under heavy pressure from wealthy and very effective lobby groups, like the live export industry. It's based on cruel monetary gain and selfish profits. It's devoid of compassion and ethics and is a shameful for Australia. Why not listen to the vets? These animals will suffer and die! There are more values in society than simply $$$$.
Email for Minister Barnaby Joyce: [email protected]
Investigating an Animal Cruelty Complaint will be frustrating but can be most rewarding too
There are no rules when investigating an animal cruelty complaint, but you must always use your judgement & common sense in each situation. However, it is recommended that your response can be guided by the following suggestions:
What would a reasonable person do when confronted with a cruelty complaint in the first instance?
No 1. Notify police, RSPCA &/or DEPI of your intentions and seek expert advice before entering into an investigation:
At the scene
Always take a camera with you and remember your first priority is your intention to help an animal in distress. When taking photographs ensure that they are taken outside the fence line, clearly showing the fence in the picture, as evidence that there has been no trespass or illegal entry. This is because, unless permission has been granted, you have no legal rights to enter any property or premises (unless of course you have an “authorisation under section 18 of the Prevention of Cruelty To Animals Act” - POCTA.)
Any witnesses? Note their names, addresses, phone numbers and any conversations had with them, & a follow-up contact.
Observe closely the conditions as you approach the property, and document them:
Note the condition/s of any other animal in view on the property that day?
Preparing for Owner Reactions: The owner or anyone responsible for the care of the animal may be present upon your arrival. This will be part of your most difficult time when investigating animal cruelty complaints and should only be done with an experienced and respected investigator if possible. Any confrontation with any owner of any animal can result in a response that can range from cooperation to abuse, so be PREPARED for anything. It is important to remember this when confronting an individual so be on your guard.
You may be faced with a situation in which animals are in a very bad condition. You may have already obtained signed statements attesting to the animals' condition. This may be in addition to your own observations. If it is a situation where you anticipate that confronting the owner first will cause him to remove the animals before you have a chance to contact authorities, your best option would be to notify Police/RSPCA/or DEPI beforehand of your intentions. Anyway this should automatically be mandatory in the very first instance if you have already considered investigating this complaint and summed up the validity of the complaint.
Remember! If the animals are in close view, easy accessible, take photographs of them from a location where you are not trespassing. The photographs will become very useful in and as evidence in a Court case.
Animal's Condition and the Circumstances in which they are kept!
Based on the allegations that you have received with this complaint, anonymous or not, about an animal that you have personally observed in this situation, and in which in your opinion an animal is allegedly neglected or abused, take notes at the time. Remember DO NOT put yourself in a position that would endanger yours or any other person’s life or welfare at any time.
Notes should contain:
- Arrival at the scene, times etc.
- Condition of neglect/abuse/cruelty.
Your assessment of the circumstances and conditions will determine how you proceed further. If the complaint concerns a quantity of animals (presumably farm animals) you need to report this to the DEPI as soon as possible because they are the authorised agencies empowered to investigate “farm”animals as per the legal definition. In turn they also have a memorandum of understanding with the RSPCA regarding investigations of farm animals (also known as MOU) in this state! Report immediately!!!
All reports and complaints MUST go to DEPI Animal Health compliance manager (phone 56242277). This is then given to the appropriate area of concern or call centre on 136186! I have found this service great at all times.
Take notes at the time. Examples below as listed:
- Animal/s are very thin (describe condition eg; hip bones, ribs, pelvic bones visible etc.)
- Animal is scratching or rubbing against fences, alleging from mange or lice or some other disease.
- Animal has sores on its body (describe them how big, weeping, open bleeding)
- The animal is limping/indicate the veracity and which leg.
- Appears living in filth, squalid conditions (describe the conditions in detail)
- Conditions/elements of the weather hot sun temperature, raining, windy. (as animals without shelter in the hot sun or wet conditions could die)
- The animal/s do not have proper shelter (for example, what is the shelter provided on the day and does it suit the size and entry for the animal)
- Water bowl overturned (if domestic animal)/ no fresh water available and check for any dams(for ruminants large farm animals)
- The animal's general appearance without exaggeration (describe in detail eg; lethargic, not interested in your presence slow moving etc.)
Note: If an owner is not at home, and your observations indicate that an animal IS being neglected in your opinion, immediately contact the proper enforcement agency (e.g. RSPCA/Police/DEPI) to investigate the complaint.
If you feel confident and you have followed all protocol and legal requirements and feel confident, try the following suggestions:
Attempt to talk to the owner and ask to examine the animal but also keep in mind that you are not a vet.
Discussion with the Owner:
Discuss the welfare of the animal and ask how the situation evolved for the animal/s to get into the condition that they are now in. (Take notes)
If the owner wants to surrender the animal for the sake of its well being always obtain a written statement granting permission for you to seek arrangements from your local welfare agency to take care and control of the animal/s.
Make totally sure that before any animal/s are removed from the property you first seek the aid of the relevant welfare agency (or local/ranger officer) and a veterinarian to gain a clear health bill before the animal/s can be transported. (MANDATORY.)
PLEASE NOTE: These are recommendations only!
You must use your own judgment and always remember that you have NO AUTHORITY under the animal welfare legislation in this state as a lay person. Under the Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals Act in the state of Victoria the only persons with this authority to enforce these powers are “general inspectors” that are “authorised by the Minister in writing under section 18 and 18A for specialist inspectors.” This is what is known as an “approval” from the Minister. Only these general Inspectors can enforce & and prosecute under all sections of the “Act”!
If a complaint is in the country or a remote area it is always advisable and MANDATORY (in my own personal experience) that you always notify police or RSPCA/DEPI of your intentions and if possible take another person with you. At all times when we have complaints to investigate in country or remote areas our first priority is to visit the local police station and advise them of your intentions.
Points to remember!!!
Record ANY statements and conversations that the owner/or any other persons may make.
Contact the animal welfare animal agency(RSPCA/DEPI/LOCAL LAWS/POLICE) and ask them to visit the scene BUT only when all your information is collated and you feel that the complaint is genuine, as resources are limited with most animal welfare agencies especially RSPCA, and that is the reason that we do the legwork for them prior.
Photograph the animal/s and all surroundings and NEVER let this film out of your possession at any time as this is vital evidence and continuance of possession is also vital in a court of law.
Have a veterinarian in attendance if possible as vets are expert witnesses( but very costly.)
NOTE: Always keep your office informed at all times and never try to be a hero!
***Do NOT ever put yourself or any other person in any danger whilst gathering any information or evidence. It is only your mandate to gather, collate, and assist an animal that is all. You are not qualified nor are you a trained investigator. ** (REPORT AND ASSIST THE ANIMAL AND RETREAT GRACEFULLY!) ****
Arriving at the scene
Example of an urgent case of alleged cruelty complaint!
Animals in locked car/or behind locked door: Consider the following:
If circumstances involve an animal suffering from heat exhaustion, such as a dog in a hot car, call police to remove the animal from the circumstances immediately.
Take the animal to a veterinarian for treatment, if necessary with the permission of the police.
PLEASE TAKE NOTE!! Entering Property? Some Considerations & Answers! There are NONE. Never even consider entering into or onto someone else’s property illegally no matter what the circumstances are. Full stop!!
You may receive a complaint that an animal has been left without food or water for several days and, appears to be abandoned. In this situation it is especially important that you must obtain a statement from any complainant to establish how long the owner has been gone and how long the animal has been without feed/water! And report it immediately to the animal welfare agency.
Arriving at the scene in the case of alleged abandonment.
When you arrive at any property, announce your arrival, and look for the owner/occupant. Knock on the front door to see if anyone is at home. If no one answers go to the rear of the house and knock on the back door, then shout out for the owner/occupant. (This is not classed as an illegal trespass as anyone is entitled to this privilege.) Look for the animal that IS the cause of the complaint and any other animals that may be on the property.
Exercising this type of behaviour calling out, looking for the owner demonstrates a "good faith" effort in finding the owner/occupant while doing your job and attempting to assist an animal in need.
If you discover an animal on the property determine what circumstances now exist for you to solve this case scenario.
The animal you have sighted appears to be in a neglected state but not in danger of dying: Feed/water it IF your investigation has led you to believe that it may have been abandoned. If you cannot see any animal but hear sounds inside a locked house you must call for legal assistance. In either case consider the following approach:
Talk to the neighbours, to determine how long the owner/occupant has been gone. Obtain signed statements, if possible.
Based on the input you receive report immediately to the authorities.
Most of the animal related complaints you receive deals with neglect and abuse. They will generally involve the “failure to provide” which means the animals:
- are not being fed or watered properly,
- are lacking an appropriate shelter,
- are not being exercised
- living in unsanitary conditions, or
- needing veterinary care.
Though many complaints may be anonymous, you should still investigate them. Most anonymous complaints are legitimate; people often refuse to give their names because they fear reprisal.
Questions to ask with regard to animal complaints
Regardless of whether the complaint is anonymous or not ask the following questions:
- What is the name and address of the alleged abuser (if known)? Can you describe what he looks like?
- What types of animals are involved in the complaint, and how many of them are there?
- Why do you believe the animals are being abused or neglected? And for how long?
- Where are the animals confined? Can the animals be seen from the road side or through a window?
- When was the last time you saw the animals and have you seen them recently?
- What were the weather conditions at the time of the abuse or neglect? Was the weather extremely hot or cold.
- What are the directions to the location of the complaint? What road, landmarks to get to the property.
You should investigate the complaint as soon as possible to bring relief to the animals that are suffering.
Call the RSPCA/DEPI/POLICE of your intentions at all times.
REPORT! REPORT! REPORT!! My best suggestion to all who are involved in animal welfare and that is to obtain a Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act also known as POCTA and read it!!You can get these at a print out from your local library.
Some Common Excuses You Will Hear!
Be aware that in many cases, the “abuser” makes these excuses in an effort to avoid being punished.
“The animal is thin”. The truth is that animal is not being fed enough nor has a serious case of internal parasites.
Excuses: (Heard them all I’m afraid)
- Oh, I guess we take him on too many walks. He must be getting too much exercise.
- He's always been a thin dog.
- He is such a fussy eater lately.
- His mum was thin, too.
- You should have seen him when we got him. He's put on a lot of weight since then.
- He's being treated by a vet. This may or may not be true and must be checked out as soon as possible.
Your possible responses:
- Where and when did you get the animal?
(Consider checking with that person or place as to the condition of the dog when it was given to the person.)
- Who is your veterinarian? When did you last have the animal examined?
(If they give you the name of the veterinarian, check with the veterinarian to see when the animal was last seen and its condition at that time.)
- When do you plan to have him vetted again?
(Make sure the person gives you a reasonable time frame, within the next few days. Check with the veterinarian to ensure the animal was seen and to determine the veterinarian's opinion of the animal.)
- What do you feed the animal every day and how much?
(When they respond with the amount of food they give the animal, consider telling them that given the condition of the animal, that amount of food does not appear to be proper or adequate.)
- He must have drunk it all. I gave him a big bowl this morning.
Your possible response:
Get it water now please
- Every time I give him water, he knocks his bowl over!
Your possible response:
That means he is not getting enough water so supply a bigger bowl.
- He knocks over that water bowl all the time.
Your possible response:
Get a bowl that doesn't tip over.
Animals that are kept outside, shelter must be available at all times as per the “ACT” and codes of practices apply and must be abided by: “proper and sufficient shelter"!
REMEMBER THESE ARE ONLY GUIDE LINES TO ASSIST YOU IN YOUR ENDEAVOUR TO HELP ANIMALS IN DISTRESS. REMEMBER THAT RSPCA NEED AS MUCH INFORMATION AS POSSIBLE BEFORE THEY CAN INVESTIGATE ANY COMPLAINT AND THIS IS WHY THIS PAPER WILL ASSIST YOU IN BECOMING ALERT AND TO ASSIST YOU IN BECOMING EXPERIENCED IN COLLATING EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT ANY COMPLAINT.
**Important phone numbers** RSPCA(operate 24/7), DEPI: 0356242277. This is the main number to call and it will be transferred to the appropriate areas). Or call Animal Cruelty Hotline (Aust) 1800751770 and we will assist with any complaint.
This paper was written by BARRIE R.TAPP SENIOR INVESTIGATIONS FOR ANIMAL CRUELTY HOTLINE AUSTRALIA with the intention of helping you try to understand the frustration and red tape that exists in the animal welfare world whilst trying to help our friends the animal. PHONE 1800751770 FREE CALL 24/7”
MY MOTTO TO LIFE!”NO ONE HAS A MONOPOLY ON ANIMAL CRUELTY IT BELONGS TO ALL MANKIND.”
Queensland clearing laws could kill over 400 million native animalsl The Commonwealth must act to stop the destruction.
More about the upcoming 2013 environmental exhibition containing this painting, at end of this article under "Notes".
Impact of new Queensland laws and Coalition intentions
Humane Society International (HSI) Campaign Director Michael Kennedy said today:
“With the passage of legislation through the Queensland Parliament this week allowing farmers to clear potentially large areas of threatened wildlife habitats and graze cattle in National Parks, and news confirming that an incoming Coalition Government would devolve the Commonwealth’s national environment powers to the states and territories, a national environmental disaster is looming.”
Mr Kennedy continued,
“Under the amendments to Queensland’s Vegetation Management Act, approximately 2,000,000 hectares (5,000,000 acres) of wildlife habitats are at-risk of clearing*. Extrapolating from a scientific report** on the numbers of animals killed during land clearing operations in Queensland during the late 90s, it can be estimated that if all land clearing options were taken up by Queensland farmers, in the region of 455 million native animals could be killed as a result. And even if only a quarter of this land total was cleared, we are still talking about killing over 100 million animals.”
The Commonwealth’s Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) also protects 14 threatened ecological communities.*** in Queensland, highly endangered habitats that require the Federal Environment Minister’s permission before any development can occur that may significantly affect them. It is estimated* that 169,000 hectares of mature bushland and 366,000 hectares of important regrowth habitats of these threatened ecological communities are now at risk from clearing, presenting Minister Burke with clear reasons for intervening in Queensland.
Cattle grazing is also highly destructive on the natural environment, spreading weeds, significantly damaging waterways and having the potential to destroy critical habitats and native ground-dwelling species. Giving a few private individuals access to a highly valuable public asset, due to their continuing incompetence, is a public policy travesty. Calls by the RSPCA in Queensland to allow cattle to graze in National Parks are chronically misguided, and do not address the root cause of the plight of the animals – greed and prolonged environmental and livestock mismanagement.
Mr Kennedy concluded,
“We are urging the Prime Minister and Environment Minster Burke to change the Federal environment laws so that any incoming Coalition Government cannot devolve national environment powers; introduce new national environment “triggers” for land clearing and the National Reserve System; and to “call-in” Queensland land clearing and cattle grazing proposals and actions for assessment under the EPBC Act.”
***HSI prepared scientific listing proposals for 8 of these threatened communities
Re image, "Apocalypse". From the original site at http://www.cantonart.org/20"This touring art exhibition confronts environmental issues facing human, plant and wildlife species in our time, from land development to natural resource depletion, and seeks to heighten public awareness through the power of art. The show is curated by Dr. David J. Wagner, author of the reference book, American Wildlife Art, and curator/tour director of an impressive list of exhibitions including The Art of Robert Bateman, The Sea of Cortez, and Endangered Species: Flora and Fauna in Peril which toured to the U.S. Department of Interior in Washington, D.C. The exhibition features iconic works such Still Not Listening, a poem and sculpture of the same title by Leo Osborne, an elegy to victims of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska. (Image: Apocalypse, Walter Ferguson)"
The Australian Wildlife Protection Council (AWPC) is gravely concerned by the ‘use and commercialisation of Australian native animals’, their extinction rates, cruelty inflicted on them, and recreational hunting. Even more so, given that Australia has the world’s highest extinction rate. Instead of apologising for crimes against nature, the Victorian State Government seeks to extend further exploitation.
(Candobetter Ed. Some headings in this submission have been changed for clarity of presentation.)
Australian Wildlife Protection Council (AWPC)
288 Brunswick Street
Environment Policy Division
Department of Sustainability and Environment
PO Box 500 East Melbourne VIC 3002
With reference to
Wildlife Regulations 2013 Regulatory Impact Statement
3 May 2013
The Australian Wildlife Protection Council appreciates the opportunity to provide a submission.
We are gravely concerned by the ‘use and commercialisation of Australian native animals’, their extinction rates, cruelty inflicted on them, recreational hunting. Even more so, given that Australia has the world’s highest extinction rate.
Instead of apologising for crimes against nature, Government seeks to extend further exploitation.
"Protected" wildlife should remain protected.
Australian Wildlife Protection Council (AWPC) was founded in 1969.
Our members are dedicated to the preservation of Australia’s native animals, their protection from exploitation, and any other cruelty to which they are routinely subjected, so that they can live safe in their native habitat across their natural ranges.
We seek their freedom from lethal controls, agricultural toxins, herbicides, pesticides, and poisons like 1080, fenthion, fenitrothion. We believe that wildlife needs to be protected and conserved in their natural ecological habitats.
We seek a change in attitudes, especially when they are needlessly killed, poisoned, commercialised and otherwise persecuted.
We aim to promote the intrinsic qualities of kangaroos and Australia's wildlife heritage so that viable populations are seen as desirable and valuable.
We aim to promote the viewing of large mobs of kangaroos as a first class wildlife experience and support the development and marketing of wildlife-based tourism.
The letter below totally encapsulates the opinion of AWPC, we are repulsed by the subaltern attitude with which DSE and this Government treat the citizens of this state.
The Age, April 27/28/2013 Joan Reilly, Surrey Hills
“The state government is reviewing the wildlife regulations but, although the consultation concludes in less than a week, readers of “The Age” are unlikely to have heard of it. The relevant notices were placed only in the Murdoch tabloid and the Government Gazette, some three weeks ago”.
Members of the public and animal welfare groups and animals themselves are omitted from the list of stakeholders affected by the proposals. Anyone concerned to find out about new rules for those who trap, keep, breed, trade, kill or process wildlife will need to peruse some 200 pages of proposals and also refer back to about 80 pages of existing regulations to understand what will change”.
“The focus is on economic benefit to businesses and reduced public sector workload.
The arrogance of this regulation by stealth is breathtaking”.
“There is a strong and growing interest in the Victorian community to keep wildlife as pets”.
While some smaller native animals such as reptiles, fish and birds can be housed and cared for appropriately as pets, we do not endorse opening up more wildlife species for commercial sales.
“Without the regulations in place, there would be no authorising mechanism to allow legal trade, possession and use of wildlife in Victoria”.
We appreciate that wildlife parks will breed native animals to keep their populations relevant and viable.
However, “there is also a demand for the farming of some species of wildlife, the processing of wildlife products, the control of wildlife causing problems to people through disturbance or damage to property and the private possession of mounted wildlife”.
Kangaroos, in particular, cannot be farmed; kangaroos cannot be yarded, herded or transported as are domestic livestock. AWPC vigorously opposes “farming” of wildlife, the use of their body parts as such practices ignore the most basic behavioural and dietary needs of this living behaving biological entity. “Control” of wildlife is already out of control.
“DSE estimates that the annual expenditure on wildlife by private and commercial licence holders is in the order of $63.7 million per annum”.
There's a very malicious and anthropocentric attitude that wildlife are obliged to satisfy some usefulness to humans, to contribute to pleasure, entertainment or commercial profits, and conversely, wildlife can be eliminated if they cause any “problems”, “disturbance” or “damage” to property or profits of landholders. Wildlife should remain wild, and should not have to justify their existence in monetary terms. The harvest of native animals from their native habitat is prohibited under the Wildlife Act 1975. This should remain the case and legislation regarding wildlife should be primarily for conservation, protection, and education.
The need for regulations
“New regulatory proposals, including the remaking of expired regulations that impose a significant economic or social burden on a sector of the public, require the preparation of a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS)”.
The “economic” and “social burden” is green tape designed to protect wildlife. Wildlife issues must be addressed holistically, and landholders need to be given expert advice on land use and wildlife deterrents to avoid conflicts. The efficiency and effectiveness of regulations should endorse their original aims and objectives, not increase human gain and economic benefits. Tragically, many unique animals are found nowhere else but south-eastern Australia, Victoria. Yet, they are being pushed to the brink of extinction by habitat loss, introduced species, infectious diseases, fire, urban sprawl and climate change. Clearly, the excessive numbers of human activities means that present legislation and policies to protect wildlife in Victoria are not working, and species are being lost. The Wildlife Act 1975 needs to be upgraded to create better guarantees for species protection, more native habitat for their long-term survival, and interconnecting bio-links (wildlife corridors) to save species.
"The purposes of the Wildlife Act 1975 (Vic) are:
to establish procedures in order to promote -
the protection and conservation of wildlife; and
the prevention of taxa of wildlife from becoming extinct; and
the sustainable use of and access to wildlife; and
to prohibit and regulate the conduct of persons engaged in activities concerning or related to wildlife."
AWPC does not support any “use” of wildlife except for educational and conservation purposes. The original aim of the Wildlife Act 1975 must be strengthened, to provide greater protection of habitat, elimination and/or control of introduced species, fire, urban sprawl and climate change. Australia’s unique wildlife lived safely in near-pristine environments for millions of years, but European settlement has taken a catastrophic toll on their long-term survival. Exemptions for landholders, those with vested interests to utilise wildlife, would create more deaths, increase illegal trade and commercial profits.
3. Proposed wildlife regulations
The proposed regulations incorporate some new provisions and changes, including streamlining some licence categories, resetting fees, adding a number of new species that may be kept and introducing multi-year licences.
We object to “adding a number of new species” that may be kept by the public. Native birds live in flocks. Isolating them in cages is a tragic existence.
It is ethically wrong to keep pet birds in tiny cages where flying is inhibited. Native parrots and cockatoos should not be confined in cages but only in aviaries with sufficient height, depth and width for flight and social interaction with other birds. Cockatoos are large birds and have large requirements. They are not suitable as backyard pets in cages. The numbers in cages need to be limited according to space. (experts must specify according to size, breed and behaviours). They need to be only kept in very large aviaries, in wildlife parks or in regional areas with carers experienced in the care of native parrots and cockatoos - and their special needs.
Native mammals need habitat and specialised food sources to live ethically and naturally. There are already a large variety of domestic pet species of animals available; pet rescue centres struggle to provide services to keep up with demand. We have “death row” for unwanted and homeless cats and dogs, puppy factories that churn out puppies to an already over-saturated market. Cruelty, neglect, over-breeding, abandonment are the flip-side of our so-called pet-friendly society.
It is immoral and unethical to add native animals to these shocking statistics.
Wildlife controller licences are to be categorised into 2 types.
AWPC is already concerned by the liberal and excessive way DSE hand out licences to “control” wildlife with Authority To Control Wildlife (ATCW) permits, without first obtaining expert advice on alternatives to killing, or even checking to see if there is justification that such “control” is valid.
Two categories for “controlling” wildlife is odious, undesirable and totally unnecessary. Instead there needs to be more DSE wildlife officers on the road, visiting farmers and landholders, and making sure that lethal “control” is the LAST RESORT not the first option.
The ATCW permit system is only a quasi set of rules and regulations and is in desperate need of total law reform as evidenced in our letter to Greg Wilson, Secretary DSE dated 26 August 2012.
Wildlife Processors Licence
AWPC is extremely concerned about this licence, the “processing” of wildlife for commercial benefits is something that the AWPC strongly opposes and we believe this licence is a thinly veiled attempt to usher into Victoria a commercial Kangaroo industry.
We are very aware of the changes the Victorian Government has made to the Ministerial control of the Wildlife Act the majority of which is under the control of Peter Walsh Minister for Agriculture and Food Safety which begs the question; what connection is there between wildlife and agriculture? Apart from the frequent issuing of ATCW’s It has been proven on many occasions that a commercial kangaroo industry in Victoria isn’t ecologically sustainable. (CSIRO 1982)
The DSE issues thousands of permits to cull kangaroos in Victoria each year - with the aim of controlling wild populations. Carcasses are often left to rot on the ground after a cull creating potential disease risks while providing a food source for feral animals and in turn, encouraging the growth of fox populations.
The practice of leaving Kangaroo carcasses on the ground has germinated the idea that these carcasses should be available for commercial use, hence the need for a ‘processor’s licence’
The commercial use of Kangaroo carcasses shot under and ATCW permit is insanity because of the logistics of collection, hygiene and knowledge of where and when Kangaroo culling will occur.
The issuing of a processors license for this reason, no matter how illogical or unsustainable it may be does however serve a purpose and AWPC believes this purpose is the subterfuge introduction of a commercial Kangaroo industry into Victoria once processor licenses are available.
A new category of wildlife licence, the Dingo Licence, has been introduced for those wishing to keep dingoes. This will incur a fee similar to a Wildlife Advanced Licence.
We note that some native rats, cockatoos and parrots have been added to the list of species:
Schedule 4A means that there's no licence for commercial trade or possession. There will be little regulation for this species and they will be sold at market. They will end up similar to gold fish or canaries, with no guarantee for their welfare or specialised social, spatial and environmental needs.
4. Regulatory Impact Statement
“Wildlife enthusiasts will benefit from continued recreational wildlife ownership opportunities and businesses that possess, trade or use wildlife will benefit from a well- managed, legal and robust industry”.
The AWPC opposes industrialisation or the commercialisation of wildlife. The idea of a “robust” industry is contrary to the aim of conservation and animal welfare policies of the AWPC. We do not want or support the economic growth of “industries” associated with wildlife, unless they support their holistic conservation and education of the public.
5. Monitoring and Enforcement
“Monitoring of licence holders will be carried out through targeted and random inspections of premises and record books by DSE Wildlife Compliance Officers or in response to suspected illegal activity or non-compliance with the requirement to submit annual returns”.
If there are enough Victorian government personal resources for these random inspections, they should include random inspections of property owners before they are able to lethally “control” (kill) wildlife.
Wildlife Farmer Licence
The AWPC do not approve of “farms” of wildlife. Emu farms means that emus become another exotic “meat” source and end up bred in captivity, contrary to our policies. Emus belong to the oldest living family of birds on earth, the rarities or flightless fowl. They are nomads, designed by 90 million years of evolution to roam over vast tracks of land.
Subjecting emus with their long thin necks and legs, and large fragile eyes, to transport is cruel and inhumane. Slaughter bound birds and mammals are typically starved for hours, even days before they are killed. Hauled in all kinds of weather, they are forced to endure truck vibrations, heat, stress, cold, damp, thirst and terror. They are then shot with a captive bolt, like cattle or, like poultry, electrically shocked (not stunned) and then hung upside down to have their throats cut, being kept alive when their blood drains. They are slaughtered at 12-15 months of age. This is degrading, and trivialising these unique birds. Adding any “game” birds to this farming category is unconscionable and unethical.
Game Bird Farmer Licence
“Allows the holder to farm game birds that have been bred in captivity for the purpose of releasing them on a specified premise for hunting (from Part A of Schedule 5 and specified in the licence)”.
We do not believe in the recreation of hunting wildlife. Breeding in captivity for hunting is akin to canned hunting, and is something which is abhorrent to wildlife activists and lovers.
Attachment (A ) - Key changes in the proposed Wildlife Regulations 2013
“Wildlife Controller Licence Allows the holder to take wildlife from the wild and to destroy, dispose of or sell that wildlife for the purpose of removing danger to persons or property from that wildlife (from Schedule 6, and specified in the licence)”.
Examples of species that may be controlled under this licence are venomous snakes, deer, Common Brushtail Possums and Sulphur-crested Cockatoos”.
Deer are NOT Australian wildlife. Common Brushtail Possums and Sulphur-crested Cockatoo never endanger human lives, and there are non-lethal methods of deterring their impacts.
Possums are native wildlife. All native wildlife is protected under the Wildlife Act 1975. There are non-lethal ways of dealing with possums, such as relocation and trees and gardens around our houses provide modified woodland similar to their natural habitat. People and possums can live together successfully.
There are companies that supply engineering controls for cockatoos, including ultrasonic devices, kites and other visual deterrents, low voltage shock tape, birdspikes and noise deterrents.
[Any Proposal for a Commercial Kangaroo Industry in Victoria..].
AWPC advises that should consideration be given to the introduction of a commercial Kangaroo industry into Victoria, the following must be carefully read and understood before any final decisions are made.
Weekly Times article favours commercial kangaroo culls
“The ban on commercial processing of culled kangaroos in Victoria must be lifted, the Competition and Efficiency Commission has told the State Government. A draft commission report said the ban appeared ‘unnecessarily burdensome’. The Weekly Times asked Victorian Environment Minister Ryan Smith for comment on the issue, but was referred instead to the office of Treasurer Kim Wells... The commission also called on the Government to simplify the process for obtaining permits, estimating the cost of issuing each Authority to Control Wildlife Permit (ATCW) was about $480... ‘Taking into account the need for a site visit and the rigor of the permit system...yields an administrative cost of approximately $480, or $863,000 across industry”, the VCEC report said.
Victoria is the only mainland state to prohibit commercial processing of its kangaroos...” Source: Peter Hunt, 'Processing Ban ROO-Turn, Hop to it', Weekly Times, April 6, 2011.
Relative to the above Weekly times article, AWPC Submits:
"The density of grey kangaroos in western Victoria and south-eastern South Australia is only 15% of that recorded for the pastoral zone of New South Wales. Such low densities reflect the effect of intensive land use and the marginal nature for kangaroos in remaining areas of natural vegetation.” With exponential human population growth and devastation of a prolonged drought, a commercial kangaroo ‘harvest’ for Victoria would be economically unviable/ unsustainable. Kangaroos are facing more threats than ever today, with the 13 year long drought, tragic bushfires, loss of gene pool, urban expansion, floods, disease and climate change factors. Why push them further into ‘extinction’ mode, and threaten their survival even further? This is what commercial profits for kangaroo meat will do.
Kangaroo meat was classified as Game Meat in 1989 by a Game Meat Working Party, established by the Federal Government. The decision to remove kangaroos from the protected List and change their status to Game Meat was made because: (a) Kangaroo meat could not meet domestic health standards and (b) No animal welfare or conservation groups were present
Ramifications of fevered meat entering the food chain is explained by Dr John Auty, Historian, Veterinarian and former Federal Bureau of Animal Health, Canberra, ACT.
“Meat hygiene standards require for all classes of animals that any condition that can cause elevation of body temperature has the potential to cause the condition known as ‘fevered’ meat. Such meat is unsuitable for human consumption.
A condition causing blindness in kangaroos, stress, inability to eat or to find water, elevation of body temperature etc. should result in condemnation of the meat from such diseased animals. It is immaterial if this condition causes generalised septicaemia or not”.
“Kangaroo shooters are not competent to judge disease in animals ante mortem unless the disease is well advanced and it is not in their economic interests to reject animals (kangaroos)”.
“The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) inspectors inspect kangaroos only after they are transferred to coastal BONING establishments i.e. after they have been eviscerated in the field. Such meat hygiene standards are not acceptable for domestic animals”.
“Whereas the diseases that affect domestic animals are well understood and form the basis for modern meat hygiene, the diseases affecting kangaroos are virtually unknown and there are virtually no Veterinarians based in the areas in which kangaroos are shot”.
How Clean is the Kill?
“Kangaroos are wild animals shot in the outback and they lay on the ground with the flies, airborne bacteria, faeces of other animals and other contaminants. Some of the diseases associated with kangaroo meat are:
*Salmonellae *Coxiella *Sarcocysts *Nematodes *Fasciolia Hepatic Flukes *Subcutaneous and Musculature Cysts *Hydatid Cysts Kangaroos carry internal and external parasites and a range of diseases
The outbreak of a blindness disease infection (Choroid Blindness) which spread across four states in the years ’94, ’95, ’96 caused the death of an estimated one million kangaroos and represented a serious ecological problem to kangaroo populations. Government attempted to keep the issue out of the public arena and displayed ineptitude and an appalling lack of responsibility.
Blind kangaroos were killed or died after jumping in front of traffic, drowning after falling into flowing rivers or starving because they could not find pasture. Source: AWPC 1999. ‘Diseases in Kangaroo Meat’ in The Kangaroo BETRAYED, Hill of Content Melbourne, pp 31-33)
Kangaroos and wallabies can harbour a wide range of parasitic, bacterial, fungal and viral diseases and the majority of infections are unapparent (i.e. animals appear normal). Even meat inspection procedures are unlikely to detect some infections unless gross lesions are detected or routine samples are taken for microbiological and pathological testing.
Worldwide, it is recognised that so-called ‘game meats’ are a source of these infections for hunters, processors and consumers, especially when care is not taken while eviscerating and handling the carcasses or when the meat from these animals is served undercooked or raw. Trichinosis, cysticercosis and toxoplasmosis are examples of parasitic zoonoses (i.e. diseases transmissible from animals to humans).
In Australia, Toxoplasmosis and the bacterial disease, Salmonellosis are two infections with public health significance directly related to the handling, processing and consumption of kangaroo meat. The October issue of Woman’s’ Day (1995) reported that a food-borne outbreak of toxoplasmosis caused acute clinical illnesses in 12 humans and one case of congenital chorio-retinitis (inflammation of the eye tissues) in a new born baby. The mother of the affected baby together with the 12 other people had attended a Christmas function at which rare kangaroo medallions were served. A thorough epidemiological investigation concluded that the most likely ‘risk food’ was the kangaroo meat.
Even ‘new’ human diseases have been shown to have origins in Australian game meat. In 1993 the first confirmed human case of Pseudotrichinosis was diagnosed. The medical investigators concluded that the patient became infected in Tasmania through eating meat, most probably derived from a wild animal. Subsequent research conducted at the University of Tasmania showed that about 2% of Tasmanians surveyed had antibodies to this muscle-encysting nematode.
Professor John Goldsmid, Lecturer in Microbiology at the University of Tasmania expressed his scientific concerns about the lack of research into a range of diseases and parasites transmissible between Tasmanian native animals and humans.
Australia has no dedicated research or diagnostic facility to investigate wildlife diseases. Detections of new diseases are handled on an ad hoc basis by government or university laboratories.
Possums trapped overnight in wire cages (comparable to that described in the brush possum code) show that cage distress and attempts to escape causes muscle damage comparable to capture-stress myopathy of deer. Tasmania is the only State of Australia listed by the WHO as having endemic trichinosis in its wildlife. The Tasmanian Department responsible for permitting a game meat industry denied there was a public health risk associated with the harvesting and processing of Tasmanian possum. Tasmanian wildlife harbour parasitic diseases which are serious infections in humans.
A recent scientific report of the International Health Organisation, the Office Internationale des Epizootes warns that wild animal meats which are raw, undercooked, dried or cold-smoked are potentially infectious to animal or humans that consume them.
The incidence of Toxoplasma abortions and infertility is amongst the highest in Australia. Free ranging wallabies, pademelons, bandicoots and wombats are regularly killed by this infection and surveys show a high percentage of wallabies harbour this infection.
The concern is that chefs and food raconteurs recommend cooking methods which would not kill this parasite.
A newly identified worm thought to be derived from marsupials was found to be responsible for acute illness in two humans. Like Trichinella they invade muscles. The worms are thought to belong to a class of nematodes known as Muscpiceoids. In wallabies and possums these nematodes live in several tissues of the body and can invade muscles.
In his paper to the University of Tasmania (1997 114 ), Professor John Goldsmid said, "Kliks (1983) identified the aetiological agents of human infectious diseases as "heirloom" or "souvenir" species, depending on their evolutionary association with humans. Amongst the most important of the souvenir species are the zoonotic infections, infecting humans as a result of animal-human contact of some kind and varying from companionable contact to utilisation of animals as a food source.
In the last 25 or so years, of 35 new or newly recognised infections in humans, 20 (57%) have been zoonotic in origin - some trivial, some devastating to both the individual and the community.
With the increase in the numbers of immunocompromised people in the community resulting from medical treatment or as a result of the spread of AIDS, the problem of zoonotic infections will continue and there seems little doubt that the likely source for many of these new human infections in Australia will be the native animal population.
People who eat undercooked wallaby or kangaroo meat could be at risk of infection by a newly-discovered animal parasite, Australian doctors have warned. The parasite was found in a Tasmanian man who suffered from inexplicable and severe muscle weakness over a number of years. He was known to consume large quantities of game. ("Parasite Risk to Game Eaters" November 7, 1997 Animal Pharmacology No. 384)
Laboratory tests suggests that the parasite is a new species of microscopic worm. It may also have been responsible for a similar infection in a New Zealand woman who had eaten wallaby meat while visiting Tasmania.
"The cases highlight the risks of eating wild game, the parasites of which are poorly understood compared with those of livestock. More studies are needed to identify disease agents in these animals and to elucidate the role of native animal species in the transmission of diseases to humans."
Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission (VCEC) call for commercial kangaroo industry
Victoria has no fauna management framework;
Victoria has no scientific kangaroo population data. Given there is no population data, commercial utilization is economically unviable and unsustainable for survival of kangaroos.
DSE data base fails threatened species
Roads are a Threatening process
Genetic variability / Wildlife Corridors and to re-connect bio-links to save species
Human induced threats and self-limiting factors control kangaroo populations
Climate change/ population growth driving species to extinction Climate change/ population growth driving species to extinction
DSE has a Duty of Care -Kangaroos are not a Commodity to be bartered and sold
We know that overwhelmingly, it is mostly ‘hobby farmers’ who seek ATCW permits. We seek Regulations for ATCW permits to be issued only to landowners whose sole income is from legitimate farming, as opposed to ‘hobby’ farmers for tax deductibility write offs.
Left just with the sole income farmers, this becomes an area that needs education/ awareness of productive farming in harmony with biodiversity and ecosystems; Learn to live with wildlife.
This is the only way to stop the ethically, morally and humanely deficient and farcical practice of DSE issuing ATCW kill kangaroo Permits in Victoria.
Prove that the ATCW permits DSE gives away like candy are legitimate, with tight conditions
This is particularly pertinent to wildlife carers who already suffer from ATCW permits given to adjoining landowners placing at risk the very kangaroos they have a license to hand rear.
Under the current system it costs Victorian tax payers for landowners to kill protected kangaroos without their say or consent; (yet taxpayers have to pay hefty $$$ for FOI)
Why then is this cost not passed onto the landowner if they are benefitting from it?
DSE data base fails kangaroos and threatened species
In Victoria 2006, Exec Director Dr Ian Miles arranged for Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) Adrian Moorrees, Project Manager, Actions for Biodiversity Conservation (ABC), Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Division to demonstrate to AWPC, the DSE Actions Biodiversity Conservation (ABC) Data Base system. We discovered that “DSE uses an inadequate Victoria-wide definition of ‘threatened’ which means that local populations can be extinguished without sounding the alarm so long as some numbers remain for the whole state ; pockets where animals appear numerous, due to fragmented populations trapped in small areas, are not assigned official ‘threatened’ status. Little effective tab is kept of numbers. More and more native species simply vanish, Sheila Newman, Environmental and Land Use Planning Sociologist for the Australian Wildlife Protection Council.
In Hamilton the west of the state, will argue that every other state has Environment Australia-approved management plans to harvest kangaroos for export. But in Victoria kangaroos are culled only for damage control. Annually, 9000-30,000 animals are authorised to be destroyed. The council will argue there is a potential commercial use for these kangaroo products, but current regulations did not allow culled kangaroos to be moved from where they died.
Ms Wolf-Tasker said it was "wonderful to see a council being pro-active on this''. "We've used kangaroo meat here for a decade but because of Victoria's rule we have to buy it from South Australia, despite kangaroos being culled here,'' she said. "Kangaroo is a great, healthy product. "It is has a more gamey flavour and is one of the last wild foods. "It is wonderful to use it with locally-grown indigenous plants from this area, such as the mountain pepper.'' Ms Wolf-Tasker said consumers increasingly wanted to know where their meat came from and kangaroo was a very popular, "natural, wild food''.
Despite concerns raised by some animal rights groups over using kangaroo meat for human consumption, Ms Wolf-Tasker said if the "necessary culling was properly regulated, using the meat for human consumption could prevent the waste of what is a very good product''. She said kangaroos needed to be culled when in plague proportions because they "caused havoc on farms and in the local environment''. A spokeswoman for Environment Minister Ryan Smith said yesterday the State Government was evaluating the feasibility of commercial harvesting of wild kangaroos with advice from the Department of Primary Industries. "We will await the outcome of that work before making decision about possible changes to regulation to allow commercial kangaroo harvesting,'' she said.
THINKK, the think tank for kangaroos, based at the University of Technology Sydney and supported by Voiceless, released two reports late last year examining the killing of kangaroos in Australia. Each year over three million kangaroos are ‘harvested’ and over a million joeys are killed as part of the commercial industry. This is the largest land-based slaughter of wildlife in the world.
The reports, titled “Advocating kangaroo meat: towards ecological benefit or plunder?” and “Shooting our wildlife: An analysis of the law and policy governing the killing of kangaroos”, conclude that:
emerging science indicates that kangaroos are not pests;
over 20 years of harvesting kangaroos has had no demonstrable environmental benefit;
increased consumption of kangaroo meat by humans is likely to place kangaroo populations at risk;
State governments once treated kangaroos as agricultural pests yet today they are treated as a resource;
The current law is a form of legalised cruelty.
Please download the reports by following this link. http://www.voiceless.org.au/About_Us/Misc/THINKK_the_think_tank_for_kangaroos.html
For additional information about THINKK, please visit their website at http://thinkkangaroos.uts.edu.au.
From Conservation to Exploitation in South Australia
“In any wild animal if you disrupt in a short period of time the normal reproduction processes that have evolved over tens of thousands of years you are in danger of putting the species at risk. Precedents have been set in other parts of the world where large populations of a species ( seals. Bison, wolves etc) have faced extinction after widespread and destructive ‘culling’ programs. Many of these species suffered incursion of exotic bacterias and viruses when their populations contained a critical and unsustainable gene pool.
To be able to undertake the largest wildlife slaughter in the world today it was necessary to undertake a long and sustained program of misinformation within Australia to convince the community that these animals are in plague proportions throughout the country areas of Australia. This was achieved by presenting he animal as a “resource” that needed to be exploited. A program of ‘shoot and let lie’ would have avoided the introduction of commercial pressures (COOMA, ACT and surrounds + MUDGEE and surrounds) on the wild animals and forced the introduction of the less destructive commercial ‘alternative’.
Where farmers and pastoralists (with sheep, cattle and crops) are in competition with any native animal, the government administrators always favour the land owner. Whatever native animal is involved, that animal is marked for destruction.
There are many examples of this entrenched ‘destructive culture’, now being undertaken in South Australia.” Source: Chapter ‘From Conservation to Exploitation in South Australia’ by Doug Reilly Macropod expert in the AWPC 1999 publication, The Kangaroo BetrayedHill of Content, Melbourne, p.37.
Maryland Wilson President
Vivienne Ortega Vice President
Cienwen Hickey Research
Sheila Newman Environmental Sociologist Land Use Planner
On the Sunshine Coast development has destroyed a great deal of the beautiful natural surroundings that attracted people there in the first place. Native animals are being cruelly decimated by starvation and exposure.
Developers seem animated by greed alone, machinally moonscaping lots when buyer uptake has dropped to 1996 levels in Australia, despite constant mass immigration. The developer lobbies have not been able to restimulate demand, even by touting for overseas immigrants and selling property to foreign investors off the plan. (That doesn't stop them charging huge fees for membership.)
Photos by Brett Clifton
We need laws to imprison developers who ruin nature but they now run our parliaments
The conduct of developers in needlessly clearing land merits new laws that would imprison them for gross vandalism, cruelty to animals and dangerous greenhouse gas generation. The main reason that Australia lacks effective laws to protect wildlife and that it seems helpless before the grotesque appetites for speculative profits of property developers is because of the Labor and Liberal Parties' huge investment in property development and financing and the cancerous presence in State parliaments of property developers or people who represent their interests over those of other citizens.
Citizens feel helpless against residential developers
James Ray, who is a resident of the Sunshine Coast, moved into a development a little while ago. He enjoyed seeing wildlife in the surrounding bushland. Although he had some idea that this bushland was also marked for development, he was shocked to see these areas cleared way ahead of lots actually being sold. He protested that this seemed premature, but also asked why buyers could not buy lots with trees retained on them and clear them only if they chose. He wrote to his council about this in an article published at http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/ancient-bush-levelled/1794757/
Why clear land brutally and unnecessarily?
There seems no good answer to this question of why clear land unnecessarily except for the corruption in parliament and of our economic system.
In fact Australia should not be clearing any more land for housing at all and it should not be artificially growing its population either. The two things are related. We have huge immigration numbers coming in all the time, inflating prices. Investors in property development lobby constantly for mass immigration. The cost of land is now so high that even this population pressure is not producing more buyers, it is simply displacing people already here, by pricing people out of the market and into homelessness, or leaving only the option of sharing with relatives or living in group houses.
What is happening to our wildlife is a weeping sore in our society. It is consuming and deforming our whole way of life. Although Queensland and West Australia are the worst for recent wildlife annihilation due to state-induced rapid population growth, the older states had already cleared too much to keep on clearing. In Victoria, the most cleared state, population growth has outpaced New South Wales due to State Government policies that ram development down the throats of local communities despite continuous protests.
Stupidly stealing habitat from native animals and the ignorance of people
It seems that the Sunshine Coast is a dark and depressing place for those who love nature. In Victoria, in an outer suburb, also called Sunshine, things are very gloomy too.
Pamela, who lives in Sunshine Victoria, and works in animal welfare, writes:
"Every time we steal more habitat from our native animals people are stupidly surprised to see kangaroos looking lost on a new vacant block where their habitat used to be. They wander down new cul-de-sacs or get hit by cars.
People come into contact with them and call them 'pests' just because they're still there.
People believe kanga numbers are 'exploding' just because they are more visible without their Australian bush to hide in for protection from humans and dogs. When the truth is their numbers are actually dwindling because of floods, dogs, dumb human hunters, vehicle strike and bushfires.
Those who spread the myths of 'ballooning populations' are only the shooters and hunters who have a vested interest in killing them.
We also have a spate of vicious attacks on kangaroos by yobbos. Kangaroos are being shot with arrows, hacked to death, beheaded, joeys are being ripped from pouches and swung against the bullbars of utes or dragged behind them until dead.
I work in animal welfare and these sorts of brutality are an ongoing problem in this country. We should be ashamed of ourselves for the way we treat the animals we proudly display on our Coat of Arms."
 "House Sales Drop: The number of houses and units sold in Australia last year dropped to 256,559, the lowest level of transactions since 1996, according to RP Data. The second half was 7.6 per cent stronger than the first, but analyst Cameron Kusher said a further incease in sales would be needed to underpin more price rises." Australian Financial Review, 10-17 March 2013, p. 3. Candobetter Editorial Comment: This is a sociopathic policy, to keep housing prices up for the benefit of the few who care more about their investments than in the country, and the disbenefit of the vast majority, who go into debt and homelessness because of this Australian political and economic phenomenon that corrupt parliaments encourage.
Life as a Wildlife carer has given me a rare insight into the world of the beautiful Kangaroo. I have witnessed first hand the threats they continually face and will continue to face in a world so entrenched with a greed mentality. As urban sprawl spreads like an out of control Cancer, the demise of the Kangaroo, I believe, is imminent. They won’t make a noise, they won’t fight back, the Kangaroo will just disappear. History will, unfortunately, repeat itself, Australia is an expert at achieving Wildlife extinctions.
This story is dedicated to the 453 Belconnen Kangaroos Killed by the A.C.T. Government in a Kangaroo Management Cull, 2009.
Message from a Belconnen Kangaroo
'Reflection In My Eyes'
I’ve lived peacefully here for a while now
But my time is up, we’ve been blamed somehow,
For the neglect and greed of man.
No gratitude for our contribution to
The balance of the land.
I ask you as I lay dying before you,
Look into my innocent eyes and reflect upon the injustice
You have given us, all because of lies.
(by Leisa Moore)
The Kangaroo Industry and the Australian Government’s aim is to brainwash the public into believing that if Kangaroo numbers were not managed they would be out of control.
My account of observations and experiences with Kangaroos over the last twenty five years , I believe, proves otherwise. I have come to this conclusion without the need of tracking collars or a film crew, just time, patience, passion and an undying love for Kangaroos.
My discovery of animal love and compassion spans from Gooby to Kobei, with a variety of animals along the way. Fifty years of experiences, some incredibly beautiful, others terribly traumatic. My first realisation that animals experienced feelings occurred at the age of three in the backyard while peddling around the cement pathways of the cottage garden on my bike. Gooby was my first cat, a long haired Tabby, I adored him. Gooby’s tail was laying across the path blocking my racing circuit and I can vividly remember questioning myself about what his reaction would be if I casually ran over it. I stopped peddling and seriously contemplated doing the deed but decided, with the help of a piercing stare from my Mum watching me through the kitchen window and a deep affection for Gooby, it was not such a good idea.
I dismounted my bike and carefully picked up Gooby who greeted me with his soft purr and gentle smooch and decided it was time to have an afternoon sleep with my beautiful Cat. It was at that very moment I awakened to the fact that animals have feelings and emotions. I have in the fifty years since that day experienced many beautiful moments which are also etched into my heart and have added to convince me that animals have an incredible capacity to love and care for, not only their own species, but also Humans.
In The Beginning
I have been a Wildlife carer specialising in Kangaroos for almost half my life and have lived with Kangaroos twenty four hours a day, seven days a week for all that time. I came to live in the Adelaide Hills in 1983, an area which is fortunate to still have pockets of bush where beautiful Western Greys are native. Unfortunately, habitat loss and the usual suspects which threaten Kangaroos including barbed wire fencing, increased human population vehicles and dogs, there are going to be Kangaroo casualties. I decided to convert my property into a safe haven for Wildlife and become a carer for injured and orphaned Kangaroos and Joeys.
My new life with Kangaroos began after being invited by my sister to attend an Open Day at an R.S.P.C.A. shelter. As I wandered around checking out the various animal related stalls I came across a group of Wildlife Carers sitting with Joey Kangaroos who were snugly tucked away in hanging hand made pouches. After a brief chat I was encouraged to put my name down to perhaps adopt an orphaned Joey. I guess the organisation involved in rescuing the Joeys felt that I would be a suitable candidate as I had a small property in the Adelaide Hills where Kangaroos could be cared for in relative safety. In South Australia Kangaroos are not allowed to be released into the wild if they have been hand reared.
A year after the Open Day, out of the blue, I received a phone call from the Kangaroo Network asking if I would like to take on an orphaned Joey. The Joey was a Red Kangaroo male from Port Augusta, orphaned after his Mother was shot. I hesitantly said,‘yes’ and named him Androo. Soon after acquiring Androo I received another call and was advised to take on another joey to keep Androo company, another Red Kangaroo Joey, a female this time, I named her Roobei. Roobei was orphaned after her Mother was involved in a collision with a vehicle.
Androo and Roobei came to school with me, I was employed as an Art/Design teacher at an elite boys college in Adelaide. Each morning before my trip to work I would bundle up the Joeys along with the pouches and milk formula required for the day. Joeys at a very young age require special milk replacement formula four times a day, need to be kept calm, they also require warmth and minimal handling.
Only a few carefully screened boys ever got to see the Joeys, boys whom I trusted would not stress them in any way.
When I first started the teaching position at the College I vividly remember overhearing horror animal stories the boys had with each other as they went about their work. There was a great deal of cruelty in their conservations. By the end of my eighteen years teaching there, the attitude of the boys in regards to animal welfare completely changed and each and every day I was pleased to hear something pleasant about animals or being greeted by a boy with a creature of some sort with an injury which I was expected to help in some way.
Androo and Roobei had to remain a secret until I felt it safe to reveal the secret in the Art room to the Principal.That meant hoping that the three hundred and forty Preparatory school boys I asked to keep the secret did just that. Luckily, the Principal accepted the fact that two Joeys would be attending the school for a short time and all was well. I was able to keep the Joeys safe in the dark room and allow them access to the whole Art room at recess and lunch.
A few months passed and the Joeys were coping excellently and becoming more active and interested in their surroundings. It was nearly Christmas and I was looking forward to the Christmas holidays which would be the time to prepare them for their new lifestyle. At the end of the Christmas holidays Androo and Roobei would not be returning to school, they were getting too big and too active, they would remain at home.
I could hardly wait to return home to be with them the first day back after the Christmas break. The anxiety experienced being from being away from the Joeys was too much to bear. My only option was to risk the financial security of being employed full time and apply to go part time so I could spend more time helping Wildlife. I was granted a reduction in contact time giving me the opportunity to became more involved in Wildlife issues and was offered the position of S.A. Representative for the Australian Wildlife Protection Council. I still hold that position and do all I possibly can to help the beautiful Kangaroo.
A New Addition to the Mob
A few years on, half way through one of the Art lessons a student approached me with some alarming information. He informed me that his family had a Joey in a box in the garage at home. After some intense interrogation, the horrible story was revealed. The boy’s Father and Grand Father had been shooting Kangaroos on their country property on the weekend and one of the Does shot had a Joey in her pouch. Apparently the boy pleaded to his father that they take the Joey home to keep. The petrified Joey had been kept in a cardboard box for forty eight hours without fluids. I insisted he contact his Mother and to bring the Joey into me. Permits are required to keep or hand raise Wildlife and these people had no permit and no idea what they were doing.
It was not long before a beautiful little Western Grey arrived in a cardboard box, scared and dehydrated, a female with barely any fur, just a velvet haze over her body, weighing 600 grams, I named her Frooshei. Her pale blue undeveloped pupils stared up at me, I instantly fell in love with her as I did with Androo and Roobei.They were my life and I wanted the best life I could give them. Veterinary help was almost non existant back then so it was really hard getting help in that regard. I had been reading and researching anything I could possibly get my hands on about Kangaroo diseases and medications, diet and Kangaroo husbandry. Frooshei is going to turn fifteen this year and has developed into a fiesty girl who believes it is her job to boss around the younger Joeys she shares her life with.
It was on one of my days off a terrible accident occured. I was on my way to get some milk formula when all of a sudden, as I was negotiating a sweeping curve, I saw a vehicle speeding towards me on the wrong side of the road. I remember experiencing about two seconds before the head on collision happened and the last thoughts I had were, “This is going to hurt,” and “I need to survive this for the Kangaroos.” Obviously, I survived the collision. I was, however, severely injured. Apparently, the driver and occupant of the other vehicle forgot to return to the left hand side of the road after road works, they were from somewhere overseas where driving on the right hand side was normal. My injuries were so bad that I was unable to continue working after trying to continue for a year following the accident. I had to resign from my teaching position which had been a part of my life for eighteen years. Since resigning I have completely dedicated my life to Kangaroo welfare, rescuing and caring for Kangaroos and voicing my concerns about the Kangaroo Industry and Government Kangaroo Management Plans and Culls. I have vowed that I will do all I possibly can for Kangaroos and this passion grows daily.
I believe my love for Kangaroos is the sole reason I have pushed through the hell of diagnosed depression due to chronic pain. I now spend every single moment with what I love, a special love only a few people ever experience.... Kangaroo love.
Western Grey Kangaroo
I live in an area which is home to the Western Grey kangaroo. Even though they are not threatened by the Kangaroo Industry the Kangaroos do experience their fair share of challenges in their strive to survive. I have been observing, documenting and photographing a Mob of Kangaroos who live close to my property for approximately 25 years, during which time I have been fortunate to observe some very intimate, numerous funny, and many beautiful moments.The Mob has had to adjust to an influx of humans due to the increased popularity of the ‘Tree Change’. This particular Mob of Kangaroos have not been subjected to ‘Culls’, they have been left to manage themselves and have proven to be expert at it. In monitoring the Kangaroos I have not needed to utilise collars fitted with transmitter devices or employ a film crew, just love and a passion for the Kangaroo was required. The Mob has never exceeded fifteen in number and the area they roam is roughly four square kilometres.
The alpha male, named ‘Hercules’ is transient and prefers to live a solitary existance except when females are in season. Hercules will then visit the females (Does) and stay around them whilst they remain in season to keep other males (Bucks) from mating them. Hercules will not always choose to mate each female, he decides whether or not to do so. The Doe will not usually allow herself to be impregnated by other Bucks so it can be a frantic time with Does racing all over the place in their attempts to escape unrelenting Bucks. This is where Mob dynamics are destroyed by the likes of the Kangaroo Industry and Government controlled Culls. The shooters who shoot for the Kangaroo Industry aim to kill the large Bucks as they get paid per kilogram for the carcass. Also, companies like Adidas insist on the large skins for their ‘Predator’ Football boots. In doing this, the Mob is no longer protected as the Alpha male is taken and the Does are chased down by the Juvenile Bucks resulting in a weakening the gene pool .
Due to predation, one out of three Joeys will not survive past twelve months of age and only one on average will grow to adulthood. Vehicle collisions, dog attacks, fences, human intervention and who knows what horror is inflicted on them when they venture onto private property, all contribute to their demise at a young age or any age in all seriousness. Living life as a wildlfe carer combined with being fortunate to live amongst wild Kangaroos is a gift. I have been priviledged to have experienced an incredible insight into Kangaroo behaviour and dynamics of the Mob and have been welcomed into their world.
Tough Boy Bailei
Words cannot express what I would like to do to the person who invented Barbed Wire. The injuries and deaths that happen to Wildlife because of the wretched stuff is horrific! I can clearly remember being called out to a property where a Joey, I named ‘Bailei’, was seen caught in a fence with it’s hind legs twisted in the Barbed Wire. As I approached the the property I dreaded what I would be confronted with. The person who contacted me was waiting and took me over to where the Joey was hanging. A possible scenario could be, the Mob the Joey belonged to was frightened by a vehicle or a dog. In the Bailei’s endeavour to keep up with his Mob he was unable to clear the fence and his legs got trapped between the two top strands of the Barbed Wire. Bailei must have been hanging and struggling for quite some time as the blood was dry and the damaged area was not fresh, the Joey had nearly ring barked both his ankles. All the fur and flesh had been ripped off in his panic to free himself from the fence, the Tendon and bone on one ankle was exposed. I covered his head and carefully cut him from the wire. Bailei was extremely brave and as soon as he was free he snuggled into my arms and fell asleep. He trusted that I was there to help him and never at any stage of caring for him did Bailei show fear. It took several months and a great deal of medication and bandage dressings to repair the extreme damage, but thankfully, Bailei made a full recovery, albeit with a very unusual pair of legs.
In my pursuit to help Kangaroos in my area I have met some people who enjoy the Kangaroos and others who make it their job to make life as difficult as possible for them. I would spend a great deal of time checking fences, patrolling roads near Kangaroo habitat for injured kangaroos and also, just keeping an eye on known kangaroo haters. This is a very dangerous part of my life. I have been abused, blamed, threatened, had my car damaged by a violent individual who was threatening a Kangaroo and countless other frightening incidents, simply because I watch out for Wildlife.
Frank, was an elderly gentleman who often noticed me watching the Kangaroos near his property and would often come out to have a chat when I drove past his house. I got to know Frank quite well, we were both concerned about the dwindling Kangaroo numbers in the area. On this occasion there appeared to be a blind kangaroo on a nearby property. I will never forget the conversation we had on that hot November night as we stood mesmerised watching a Mother and Joey interacting together, they clearly loved each other.
There was silence for a considerable length of time and then Frank asked if he could tell me about an incident he had never told anyone about before. For some reason he felt compelled to tell me about what had occurred one night when he was about thirty years old. Frank was seventy seven years of age. He went on to tell me how he used to go out Rabbit shooting with his mate when on this particular night his mate decided that they would also shoot a couple of Kangaroos for dog meat. Frank was asked to have a shot at a Kangaroo in the distance and he obliged. He took aim, pulled the trigger and realised it was not a clean shot. Frank wandered over to the Kangaroo who was writhing in pain and trying in vain to push her Joey out of her pouch. Frank went on to say that he actually heard the Kangaroo scream to her Joey ‘get away, go,the man is going to kill us!’. Frank honestly believed that he heard the Kangaroo scream those words to her Joey. Frank, with tears in his eyes, continued with the horrible detail and said that he had to shoot both, Mother and joey. He then told me he was so disgusted by what he did on that sickening night that he went straight home and destroyed his gun and never killed anything again and is now haunted each minute of his life.
It was difficult to say anything to Frank when he had finished talking, I am not the forgiving type when it comes to animal cruelty, abuse, neglect, whatever. Frank never came out to talk with me again, so I did not have to deal with the emotions that were challenging my conscience.
The Old Blind Girl
When travelling around I observe and document where and how many Kangaroos are in specific areas. I am not employed by the Government , not a Council Ranger or an R.S.P.CA. Inspector but do all I can on a voluntary basis. This lack of authority has it’s difficulties however, as I am not allowed onto properties to check Kangaroos I may be concerned about. I had been keeping an eye out for several months for an old , what seemed to be, blind, female Kangaroo. The Kangaroo appeared to be coping and was keeping up with her Mob so I felt it was best to monitor her and move her if she seemed to deteriorate at any stage. I tracked her daily and all seemed to be going well for the girl. Then one day, she had disappeared from the Mob. I searched for hours on end and had difficulty in doing so as some property owners would not let me look for her on their land. I would wake up at five am each morning and search for her and return each night at about six pm. till dark. A week later I found her, she was laying exhausted upturned with her legs in the air in a ditch. She was on a property that belonged to a Kangaroo hater, a man who had previously abused me when I stopped to remove a Kangaroo off the road, a man I believe responsible for shooting Kangaroos in the area. I needed his permission to go on his property to retrieve her but feared he would say no. I rang the R.S.P.C.A. but they were unable to come out as it was late at night and the Council Ranger would shoot her for sure. I decided to get her out myself.
I went home and got all the equipment required to do the rescue and prepared my car so I could transport her safely. I suspected she had been chased by his dogs so made sure I had the appropriate Antibiotics on hand and Dexamethasone for shock. I returned and placed blankets on her and waited in the car till I felt it was safe to make the move. I approached quietly and she did not move at all, I thought she had died. Then I noticed her beautiful face looking up at me and I could tell she was relieved that someone was there to help. Kangaroos know when they are being helped, they just know. The poor girl was in the middle of a boggy paddock with drainage pipes all over, so it was extremely difficult carrying a fully grown Kangaroo on my own in the dark. I managed to carry her through to the fence where my car was parked and manoevered her through the gate to my car door. I only had a Sedan back then so had to place her on the floor in the front of the passenger seat but being next to me I would be able to place my hand on her and speak softly if she got stressed by the unusual noises during the trip.
I carefully lifted her into the car and wrapped her securely then reached into my pocket to get my car keys.... they weren’t there! I race around to the driver’s side door in the hope that I had left them in the ignition, No !!! I had dropped them in the paddock.!!!I had a rough idea where I had picked her up and retraced my steps in complete darkness and... unbelievably, I stumbled across them. I could not believe luck was with me for a change. I ran back to the car and drove home with an exhausted blind Kangaroo next to me. I carried her into the Laundry and she fell straight to sleep, beautiful girl. I woke next morning with her in my arms and her beautiful head tucked into my body. I checked out her injuries and as suspected, she had been attacked by a dog or dogs, presenting injuries consistent with dog attack. She had bite marks and punctures all over her buttocks, legs and neck. I cleaned and dressed her wounds, gave her Antibiotics and Dexamethasone. Sadly, even with Veterinary help, the blind girl died in her sleep a few days later.
Tobei was an absolute treasure, a hero in his own right and I believe, along with Lucei, another rescued Joey, saved my life. Tobei was adopted by Lucei who was also hand raised after her Mother was run completely over by a truck. Lucei loved Tobei and they went everywhere together, grazed together, slept next to each other. It was a windy night and after setting up the outdoor heating arrangement I had for the Kangaroos who chose to sleep on the Verandah, and sorting out the food stations, I retired to bed. The heating consisted of galvanised domes which were suspended above the areas where it was dry and comfortable if the Kangaroos felt cold. Near by, there were a couple of containers where Meadow Hay was placed. On this extremely windy night a tragic event occurred and if not for Tobei’s famous Trumpet call he always used to get my attention I would have possibly lost my life and my home.
At about 2am I was woken by the repetitive trumpet sound of Tobei, extremely loud and clearly in a state of panic. I stumbled out of bed to see what was going on and to my amazement I saw flames about to catch the eves of the house alight. One of the heaters had blown into the meadow Hay container which in turn caught the cupboard next to the house alight. Tobei and Lucei were standing there side by side, staring at the flames which had nearly taken complete hold. I managed to get the hose to the fire and extinguish the fire. I firmly believe they both knew what they needed to do and did so to save my life.
Beautiful Tobei tragically died two years later on my Birthday from a snake bite. I will never forget the bond we had with each other for nearly four years, such a beautiful Kangaroo, his memory etched in my heart forever. Lucei had tears in her eyes the day Tobei left us and for months after... Kangaroos do cry, we never got over his loss.
Kangei was a wild Western Grey Kangaroo who often enjoyed visiting my Kangaroos, a dominant male who belonged to the Mob that resides in Council land behind my property. Kangei was about three years of age when he first came to visit, a very trusting and placid Kangaroo. Our bond was sealed the day I found him caught in a neighbour's fence. Kangei allowed me to sedate him and cut him free from the fence. We had only known each other for about a year when the incident happened but he allowed me to inject him on two occasions with long acting Antibiotics and administer Vitamin E daily for Myopathy. Beautiful Kangei would have been about four years old and weighed approximately eighty Kilograms. Realising I was helping him he would like my face and gently stroke my hand with his large soft paw, I was able to dress the wound in his hind leg and thankfully Kangei made a complete recovery. Kangei continued to visit us until March 24th 2010.
Kangei died after being hit by a car after a dog chased him onto the main road as he was navigating through bushland in a reserve where dogs are legally supposed to be on a lead at all times. The progeny of Kangei live on with other Joeys that were born after his death. I am aware of two Joeys that are definitely Kangei’s, how precious that I can still be close to him in some way. Kangei is now with his best friend,Tobei.
The dynamics of a Mob are extremely interesting to me and I believe many people underestimate the amazing qualities the Kangaroo possesses. On one occasion when I was on a Photography expedition in the bush I spotted the mob in a paddock a small distance from where they usually hung out. I stopped and watched as they were on the move and needed to negotiate a couple of Barbed Wire fences on their return to their day time resting spot. I had noticed the youngest Buck had safely crossed the dirt road along with two of the Does and one of the at foot Joeys.
Bradei, the dominant Buck at the time stayed behind to ensure all Kangaroos crossed safely. With him was the other at foot joey who decided it was time to play and rough up Bradei and not follow his Mum. Bradei kept trying to show his Joey where to get under the fence by gently pushing the Joey’s head down to the section where there was a large enough space to get under. The Joey thought Bradei was playing and I had such a laugh watching the antics of the Joey and the frustration Bradei was experiencing. Finally, with a little bit more force by Bradei and a Mother calling her boy, the Joey realised it was time to squeeze under. It was not until the Joey was safely out that Bradei felt ready to to jump the fence and join the Mob. I have seen on many occasions actions which indicate close bonds, love and also grieving of deceased members of a Mob. The bond between a mother and a joey is a special one. The Joey stays with the Mother for at least eighteen months, the female Joey many months longer and will usually remain with or close to the Mob in her adult life.
I have also observed the actions of a Mother to protect her Joey in times when threats are near. Always on the alert, the mother will communicate to her Joey to go to a predetermined spot and hide if she senses a threat. The Mother will then stand completely upright, perfectly still and watch and listen, ears flicking frantically in all directions like a radar. If she feels it necessary she will leave the scene to take the threat away from her Joey. The Joey instinctively realises it must not follow, it understands it must remain still and completely quiet and wait for its Mother to return when she feels it is safe to do so. I have observed a Joey wait more than three hours for her Mother to return. The love and excitement shown when they reunite is so precious, wow, I love them.
I have also experienced the love the Kangaroos in my care have for me. I have never had a sick day whilst being a Wildlife carer. Fact is, I can’t. Too much Kangaroo work to be done. When I experience unrelenting pain I sometimes have to lay down for a while, but I am never alone. The Kangaroos sense when I am unwell and will always join me either on my bed or on the floor next to the bed. Sometimes I am lucky to get any of the bed but feel so happy when they are with me. They are my healers.
The Kangaroos have a choice to do as they wish, they can come inside or they may choose to graze and lay around outside. I love it when I am their choice.
As mentioned at the beginning of my story, my journey spans from Gooby to Kobei. Kobei came into my life on August 31st 2010 at the age of five months. He was orphaned after his Mother lost him from her pouch when being chased by a dog on someone’s property. The owners of the property left the little Joey, whom I named ‘Kobei’, after Kangei and Tobei, near a bush all night in 3 degrees C. amongst predators such as Foxes, in case the Mother returned for him.
Unbelievably, Kobei survived the night but his Mother did not return. How such a small Joey could survive those conditions astounds me till this day. Kobei apparently stayed in the same place all night. He did not move a centimeter. They picked him up and I was contacted and asked what they should do with him. Kobei became part of my Mob and has been with my other Kangaroos ever since. Kangaroos are very accepting of new arrivals and I gradually introduced him into my Mob. He has grown up to be a vibrant and content Kangaroo who loves Lucei and his other Mob friends that live here.
I would much prefer that the Kangaroos who have had a second chance of life with me never had to experience losing their Mother but I suppose they are the luckier ones in a Country that insists on slaughtering millions of Kangaroos and Joeys each year. Kangaroos are blamed for just about everything and have been betrayed since white man set foot on their land. It’s little wonder that when they are observed they are always on the lookout for Human threat, introduced predators along with the ongoing loss of habitat due to degradation of land and urban sprawl. Where I live I have noticed the number of Kangaroos drop 75% in twenty years and there is no Kangaroo Industry here to blame, only human intervention, greed and a blatant disregard for Wildlife. I have seen and still see people buy properties knowing it is home to Wildlife and feel it is their right to apply for destruction permits to get rid of the animals.
Sadly, I don’t think there will be many Kangaroos in my area in the near future and only then will the Kangaroo haters be happy. Life as a Wildlife carer has given me a rare insight into the world of the beautiful Kangaroo. I have witnessed first hand the threats they continually face and will continue to face in a world so entrenched with a greed mentality. As urban sprawl spreads like an out of control Cancer, the demise of the Kangaroo, I believe, is imminent. They won’t make a noise, they won’t fight back, the Kangaroo will just disappear. History will, unfortunately, repeat itself. Australia is an expert at achieving Wildlife extinctions.
My Wildlife journey, so far, has been like a Roller Coaster, I have been pushed to say and do things I never thought I would or could. I will continue to support Kangaroos for as long as I live.... they are my life long passion.
My biggest wish is for the Kangaroo to be appreciated and respected before it is too late, so that the amazing people who relentlessly endeavor to give a voice to these precious, sentient beings can continue to admire, observe, photograph, love and appreciate their wonder.
Federal Caucus has carried a motion to have the Caucus Live Animal Export Working Group develop a model for an Office of Animal Welfare. We know of two MPs who actively support this motion and would like to hear from any others. Kelvin Thomson and Melissa Parke, respectively MPs for Wills in Victoria and Fremantle in West Australia support this approach.
Tuesday, 27 November 2012
Independent Office of Animal Welfare
Kelvin Thomson (Member for Wills) and Melissa Parke (Member for Fremantle) have welcomed the carriage by Caucus of a Motion to have the Caucus Live Animal Export Working Group develop a model for an Office of Animal Welfare.
The proposal will consider the location of the office within government, and the legal status of the office. The preferred model will be presented to Caucus by the end of February 2013.
“We are pleased that the Parliamentary Labor Party has responded to the recent revelations about the disgraceful treatment of Australian sheep exported to Bahrain and Pakistan. We hope that the Live Animal Export Working Party will come up with
a model which helps secure decent and humane animal welfare outcomes. We believe this is what Australians want.”
Source: Press Release from Kelvin Thomson's office.
Sad story of 3 brothers, 2 killed, one is running for his life
A dingo From the K'Gari Butchulla camp called "Inky "is running for his life. QPWS targets three dingo brothers for ‘crimes’ they ‘supposedly’ committed and they have been coded for destruction. Visit Youtube news story on this dingo for a news report:- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypA2oeiO8Rs&list=UUdyUpJ3MnEdPLQnOuxMfAsg&index=6&feature=plcp
(Pic from Ch 7 Sunshine Coast QLD News)
Two have already been destroyed, one at the K'Gari camp site shot, where Inky was shot along with his brother who died. “Inky" survived but ran off with a bullet wound in his neck, developed an infected ear, is still running/ hiding terrified of the rangers. Another dingo Inky’s brother, ‘Byron’ known to be harmless, from Cathedral Beach was darted and given a lethal injection. This dingo was destroyed by QPWS on 4th Oct. 2012 before a public forum with the newly appointed FIDMS Ecosure on 5th Oct. This leaves "Inky” who, after his brother was shot at the K'Gari camp, ran off to join his other brother Byron at Cathedral beach. He is now being hunted by a trapper brought in by QPWS to trap and kill this terrified dingo.
An online vote poll asks ‘Should dingoes that attack tourists on Fraser Island be destroyed?’ It stands at 91% No and only 8% Yes- nearly 100% angry NO’s of community response. QPWS, Regional Manager Fraser Island, Ross Belcher admitted on ABC radio that this dingo and his brother, who were both killed, did not bite anyone. Why were these dingoes deemed dangerous and aggressive? They were future breeding dingoes, important to sustain another generation, but were given a death sentence based on an obscure report, and coded.
Those issuing death sentences do not understand dingo play behaviour; they behave like human male teenagers- boisterous. No more dingoes should die; there must be a complete moratorium on killing dingoes until Ecosure publish their peer reviewed FDIMS management strategy, which won't be until Feb next year. For decades, the fight to protect the F.I. Dingoes, has done little to improve the chances of these dingoes surviving for future generations. "Inky" and his brothers committed the crime of a code C..." a dingo was lying down 20 metres from a fisherman!! Other "crimes" the dingo commits, assume the dingo ‘knows the rules’: ‘loitering’ at visitor sites, stealing or ‘soliciting’ food, following people closely, generally associating with human presence’.
The QPWS term of ‘habituating’ is a ‘dingo committed crime’ Marie-Louise Sarjeant. P.A. Jennifer Parkhurst.
Notes leading up to the hunt for Inky
‘Our Fraser Island Dingoes need protection and honesty from Government which is not being provided’ AWPC Australian Wildlife Protection, President.
Hon. Steve Dickson. M.P. National Parks, Recreation, Sport & Racing…have under a current policy, the decision to authorise a “humane “destruction of a dingo that hasn’t bitten anyone. They state that ‘Issues for dingo’ destruction are because QPWS deemed it has committed a “code crime” of “habituation”. Specific details have not been given as to why Inky has to be destroyed.
(Ross Belcher from the QPWS: people were not harmed, but r it is extremely concerning dingo has not been caught)
QPWS have enlisted a paid shooter /trapper to the Island, setting a terrible precedence to bring in a person, who is effectively a pest control officer and a dingo exterminator. This is not acceptable in a Heritage Listed National Park, where fauna is supposedly protected. Dingoes on Fraser Island have learnt Rangers mean death or pain and avoid them, recognise their vehicles. Previous contentious FIDMS even states in the old management strategy, that a history of incidents and photos required and only as a last resort is the animal to be destroyed"
ABC Net news;” Trapper hunts rogue Fraser is dingo”: By Frances Adcock. 11th Oct 2012, saying that, “Up to 40 rangers are still looking for a dingo.” There are only 49 rangers there, so why waste time and money to chase down a dingo that is not a threat to anyone?
Indigenous people have signed Statutory Declarations to declare that Inky is not dangerous.
A comment written to Ross Belcher, Regional Manager Fraser Island on the Fraser Coast Chronicle:
“The dingo is allegedly a "natural feature" of the Island, interference with which is punishable by very serious fines and even, in some circumstances, imprisonment. So how then, Mr Belcher, can you justify either Rangers or a paid Shooters coming on to the Island and taking such action? Will the shooter be the subject of legal proceedings for “interference”? Will you be the subject of conspiracy to commit such a crime given your enlistment of the paid shooter?" (Marilyn Nuske Lawyer).
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Contacts to write to protest about the destruction of Inky:
[email protected] or [email protected] Ph 07 32248113
DERM dingo ranger. [email protected]
Ross Belcher Regional Manager FI: ph: 4121 1800. E:[email protected]
UNESCO: [email protected]
Mr. Young Hun JUNG UNESCO: [email protected] Please write or call to save Inky
Dingoes on Fraser Island, Australia are dying of starvation, with sand and grass in their stomachs. One woman tried to alert the world to this and was sentenced and fined for her trouble. On 25th of August 2012 Jennifer Parkhusrt received a national award from the Australian Wildlife Protection Council in recognition of outstanding contributions to the preservation and protection of Australian native Wildlife. What a contrast to the treatment she received from the Queensland government!
(Jennifer Parkhurst's website. More information about donations at end of this article.)
Dingoes on Fraser Island are protected because of their purity. This may be, at first sight an ideal situation and would find acceptance by most people and dog- or specifically dingo lovers. As for the tourist trade it has boosted the numbers of tourists to the island who wanted to have a dingo experience. From the outside it looked very good and only very committed people objectively examined how these beautiful creatures are actually managed.
One of these people is Jennifer Parkhurst and I refer to her as the Dingo Lady who has lived on Fraser Island for seven Years. She loves and adores dingoes and has observed them throughout the island. She scrutinized their behavior and took hundreds of photos of them. Her entire life was committed to them.
Frazer Island dingo pups dying of starvation, eating sand and grass
To her horror she discovered that most of the dingoes were starving and only ten percent of pups survived to adulthood. Stomachs examined of dead pups contained only grass and sand. This is partly the result of the shooting of their parents while they are desperately searching for food along the beach where tourists, who do not know how to behave, make reports of “dangerous” dingoes. But it is not only the pups that are starving. Her photos show adults with all their ribs clearly visible. When the alpha female goes looking for food and returns, her pups run eagerly towards her only to realize that she did not find food for them. Then, they scratch around in the soil to possibly find a grub or they chew on bark of woody plants like rabbits do in drought situations.
There is no game to hunt for dingoes on this island. They have become desperate scavengers and beach combers.
To make matters worse, large areas are unnecessarily burnt, reducing their food source and shelter even further. If one would examine the food remains found in their droppings the way it is done regularly in food habit studies on the mainland, it would surely expose embarrassing results. Often dingoes are ear-tagged and radio-collared unnecessarily as if they were criminals in order to follow their movements on this restricted island. Culling dingoes, especially adults, has serious implications for their family structure and learning, resulting in subsequent misbehavior and breeding problems. If this maltreatment of dogs in refuge and dog shelters occurred, the owners of these shelters would certainly be heavily fined and their shelters closed. What then is the difference on Fraser Island?
What is it about dingoes and women that bothers Australian governments so?
And now back to a REPEAT of the savage miss-handling of the Azaria Chamberlain Case. The dingo lady, who noticed the many starving dingoes struggling to survive, gave some poor animals a few pieces of coconut. For this she was convicted and fined $40.000 as well as sentenced to a 9 month jail term suspended for three years and has now a criminal record! She could just not control her distressed feelings for these ailing animals. The “stone-walling” of her defense and the brutality of the prosecution resulted in her inability to work and she lives now on a disability pension while she still has to pay off her fine. You can make up your own mind as to what the government is trying to hide and why they try to silence the Dingo Lady.
Dingoes were brought to this island by the Aborigines where they became dependent on the Aborigines to compensate them for the dingo’s lack of prey species. In recent years some exotic, large animals were introduced to the island which benefited the dingoes. The Forestry workers wormed and fed the dingoes, and before the island was heritage listed, rangers fed them. Fishermen were also allowed to give the dingoes their offal. But now, all these extra food sources have been removed and there is now no real hunting opportunity left for them.
Please ask for food supplements for the dingoes
I would implore people to write to their local MP’s or the federal minister for the environment, and ask that random food drops be introduced to Fraser Island. I would also ask that people request a complete moratorium on all culling of dingoes. While Fraser Island is in Queensland, and seems far away from us down here in Victoria, it is a Heritage Listed Icon of Australia and belongs to us all. One day you might like to take your children there to show them a world-famous dingo. Without action this may soon be impossible.
I was fortunate to be present when on the 25th of August 2012 the dingo Lady, Jennifer Parkhurst, received a national award from the Australian Wildlife Protection Council in recognition of outstanding contributions to the preservation and protection of Australian native Wildlife. What a contrast to the treatment she received from the Queensland government!
Hans Brunner (M. App. Sc.)
Australian Story featured Jennifer Parkhurst's horrible experiences with the law and her attempts to represent dingoes. You can see the program here: http://www.abc.net.au/austory/specials/dogsofwar/default.htm or just click on the picture at the top of this article.
Donations to help Jennifer pay her fine can be sent either to SFID or to your local Magistrates court. Payee is ‘State Penalties Enforcement Registry’ and her Party ID is: 62883053. Please be sure to get a receipt, and she asks if you would be so kind as to post her a copy of the receipt for her records, she would be most grateful.
Mail can be sent to Jennifer C/O SFID: 50 Old Maryborough Rd Pialba Qld 4655
The magistrate who convicted and so severely punished Jennifer Parkhurst with a suspended sentence and a $40,000 fine was Magistrate John Smith in a case at Maryborough Magistrates Court. Adam Randall , who was Jennifer's partner at the time and fed the Dingos with her was fined only $2500.
Hans Brunner is one of many scientists and other people who have tried to stand up for the Fraser Island dingoes. Australian Story gives others. Another example is:
Dr. Alan Wilton (1953-2011) Prominent Australian Geneticist, Assoc. Professor of the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences at the University of NSW. Dr. Wilton devoted much of his academic life in studying the ancestry and significance of the dingo in Australia. http://savefraserislanddingoes.com/
Check out Dr Earnest Healey's Dingo Care Network here: http://home.vicnet.net.au/~dingo/ffg.htm
Conrad Annals, Acting Chief Ranger for Northern Melbourne district has advised that there is no kangaroo cull planned in Plenty Gorge next Monday and Wednesday nights, contradicting what published here on August 9. He could not comment on the lack of wildlife corridors to and from Plenty Gorge in the face of high human economic immigration numbers resulting in rapid population growth and infrastructure expansion in Melbourne and the rest of Australia.
In this article's original leading paragraph, of which this is a rewrite, we said that the growth lobby (of which the organisers and beneficiaries are mainly property developers) is both benefiting from and causing this unnecessary high human population growth. This remains uncontested. We also stand by the statement that Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) protects and advances the costly interests of the growth lobby whilst pretending to protect our wildlife. We maintain that the growth is unnecessary and so is culling - when it occurs. The AWPC promotes another way: Wildlife corridors and relocation as well as stopping high immigration.
We have put the leader which we introduced this story with yesterday at the bottom of this article. In the light of Mr Annal's communication, we hasten to reassure readers that the rumoured cull has been officially denied. We retain the leader below for the record, which documents the fact that our initial information may have been wrong and we thank Mr Conrad for his timely communication, which we will pass on to our readers. We thank them for letting the Department know of their feelings because this may save kangaroos in the future. There have been past culls in this district and further afield in Victoria. The problem of human overpopulation and lack of corridors remains to be rectified. Examples of recent past culling or similar treatment of kangaroos in the same area are to be found here and here. In fact it was the problem of cruel treatment and lack of sensible policies in that area that resulted in the formation of the Coalition for Australian Wildife Corridors.
Translocation is better than killing healthy free animals. Open up wildlife corridors!
Please express your horror and disgust at the make up of Department of Sustainability and Environment, which cares nothing about kangaroos or other native animals. See for instance the recent expose by Skye Brown in "http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/culling-is-killing-not-some-act-of-humanity/story-e6frfhqf-1226443384194" in the Herald Sun Newspaper, for those who retain a passing familiarity with the Murdoch Press.
Know your Department of Environment and Sustainability (DSE) for what it really is
DSE is dominated by property developer interests and has for years been a commercially oriented, outsourcing planning and development department that protects and promotes human population growth. On the 'natural environment side' it retains almost no wildlife protecting staff, and employs mostly people representing the interests of property developers and shooters, hunters, recreational fishermen and farmers and generally promoting the killing and extinction of wildlife through their actions. Actions and policies in DSE demonstrate that real concern about the care and welfare of our native animals is very rare in the DSE Authority that your taxes pay for.
Please email the DSE Secretary Greg Wilson and tell him what you think at greg.wilson[AT]dse.vic.gov.au. Send a copy as a comment to candobetter.net.
DSE: Mass killing of Victorian Kangaroos in Plenty Gorge next Monday, Wednesday
AWPC has heard that kangaroos are to be killed in Plenty Gorge next Monday and Wednesday nights.
Plenty Gorge is located to the North East of Melbourne, in an area where high immigration numbers are resulting in rapid population growth and infrastructure expansion. The growth lobby (of which the organisers and beneficiaries are mainly property developers) is both benefiting from and causing this unnecessary high human population growth. This growth is being conducted in a manner that boxes animals, especially kangaroos, in with new suburbs and roads and then pretends that the animals themselves have become overly populous. We have previously published articles on this devastated area where wildlife have been hanging on as best they can. We in Victoria need to stand up for these gentle fellow creatures.
DSE, whilst masquerading as Victoria's natural environment protector, is really the headquarters of property developers and infrastructure engineers, who call themselves 'planners'. DSE is taking care of dirty business for the growth lobby by cruelly extinguishing the lives of many native animals. Kangaroo culls are the most dramatic of its cruel activities and DSE does not like exposure.
Relocation is the alternative to killing or to living and let living
Professor Steve Garlick and his wife Dr Rosemary Garlick have successfully relocated hundreds of kangaroos, showing that there is no need for killing these beautiful family oriented, social animals, even when their original homes are built over.
Killing is however preferred by DSE and so many pretend-environmental departments because those dictating DSE policy don't want Australia to retain wildlife in any meaningful way. They actually want our whole habitable environment to be turned into an endless suburbia and industrial park. They simply do not care what you and I think, nor how these animals suffer. Extinction is not of concern to them. They are concerned entirely by monetary economics and a growth economy.
Better than murder
DSE uses an inadequate Victoria-wide definition of ‘threatened’ which means that local populations can be extinguished without sounding the alarm so long as some numbers remain for the whole state. Pockets where animals appear numerous, due to fragmented populations trapped in small areas, are not assigned official “threatened” status. In fact little effective tab is kept of numbers.
DSE fails to assign official “Threatened Status” to species under threat
Former Executive Director Dr Ian Miles arranged for DSE Adrian Moores, Project Manager, Actions for Biodiversity Conservation (ABC), Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Division to demonstrate to AWPC the DSE Actions Biodiversity Conservation (ABC) Data Base system.
”DSE uses an inadequate Victoria-wide definition of ‘threatened’ which means that local populations can be extinguished without sounding the alarm so long as some numbers remain for the whole state ; pockets where animals appear numerous, due to fragmented populations trapped in small areas, are not assigned official “threatened” status. Little effective tab is kept of numbers. More and more native species simply vanish!” (
Sheila Newman Land-Use Planner and Environment Sociologist)
Australian Wildlife Protection Council (AWPC)
Former teaser, replaced in the light of communication from Conrad Annal, Acting Chief Ranger for Northern Melbourne District.
AWPC has heard that kangaroos are to be killed in Plenty Gorge next Monday and Wednesday nights. Plenty Gorge is located to the North East of Melbourne, in an area where high human economic immigration numbers are resulting in rapid population growth and infrastructure expansion. The growth lobby (of which the organisers and beneficiaries are mainly property developers) is both benefiting from and causing this unnecessary high human population growth. Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) protects and advances the costly interests of the growth lobby whilst pretending to protect our wildlife. The growth is unnecessary and so is the culling. There is another way: Wildlife corridors and relocation as well as stopping high immigration.