Flying Fox Debate Ill Informed

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10th December 2009, 06:41pm - Views: 724

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Queensland Conservation 166 Ann St, Brisbane, QLD 4000 

ABN: 89 717 887 219

Ph: 07 3221 0188    

Fax: 07 3229 7992       

For Immediate Release                                                                              10 December 2009

Calls for bat shooting very poorly informed

Dr Carol Booth, speaking for Queensland Conservation, today rejected Mr Rob Messenger’s

calls for shooting to be reinstated as a method of crop protection. 

“Mr Messenger wants to send us backward by promoting an ineffective and inhumane

approach to crop protection,” Dr Booth said.

“Queenslanders of ‘decency and commonsense’ would support the Queensland

government’s ban on shooting flying-foxes. They would not want their fruit to result in the

deaths of threatened species and cause animal suffering.

“Fruit crops cannot be protected by shooting 15-30 flying-foxes a month. When fruit growers

were allowed to kill large numbers of flying-foxes they still suffered large losses. 

“Ninety percent of lychee, longan and rambutan growers in North Queensland are netted

[according to DPI], suggesting that it is economic for most growers to net. Netting is the only

reliable method of crop protection.

“Claims that flying-foxes are in plagues and not threatened are untrue. Two species have

suffered such large declines in populations that they are now listed as federally threatened. 

“A female flying-fox can only have one young a year. Flying-foxes need a high rate of survival

to just maintain their populations. That is the opposite of a ‘plague’. 

“When growers kill flying-foxes they are likely to cause a high rate of injuries and the babies

of lactating females starve to death. That is why an independent committee has been found

it to be inhumane.”

“NSW should follow the Queensland government’s lead in banning shooting, not the other

way around. An independent review in NSW found that shooting flying-foxes was

“unacceptable legally and ethically”, Dr Booth concluded.

Contact Carol Booth, phone 0448 868 984

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