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FLYING-FOXES URGENTLY NEED YOUR HELP


Orphaned bats

On National Threatened Species Day, Friday the 7th September, 2012 the Queensland State Government gazetted changes to the Nature Conservation Act 1992 which will once more permit orchardists to shoot flying-foxes. Shooting flying-foxes was proven to be inhumane in 2008 by the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee when they declared that shooting was an act of cruelty. Shooting bats is still as cruel in 2012 as it was in 2008 as attempting to shoot to kill a small, dark target at night is almost impossible.

Our gentle forest pollinators and seed dispersers together with their defenseless babies, urgently need your help to tell the LNP that Government sanctioned cruelty to any species, including defenseless babies is never acceptable, humane or sustainable. As stated in July, 2012 by Glen Elms, Minister for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs, "All Queenslanders will now have the same animal welfare obligations and it's important every Queenslander understands animal cruelty is never acceptable." A shocking contradiction as our unique flying mammals are singled out as the only species the Government won't recognise as worthy of compassion or protection.

Two of the four species of flying-foxes found in Queensland are already federally listed as Vulnerable to Extinction. Together with lethal DMP's, unpredictable starvation events, climate change, ongoing destruction of flying-fox habitat, barbed wire, backyard drape netting and Cocos palm entrapment, car hits, dog attacks and colony persecution, Grey-headed flying-fox populations may become extinct in as little as 40 years.

Electrocution was banned in 2001 after it was proved that 18,000 Spectacled Flying-foxes were killed on an electric grid on ONE lychee farm in a single 6 week period in FN Queensland. One fifth of the world population of Spectacled Flying-foxes lost forever. No Bats, no World Heritage Rainforest, no tourist dollars, no multimillion dollar hardwood timber industry and no export dollars for Australia.

As fruit ripening season coincides with flying-fox birthing season, shooting bats in orchards results in large numbers of baby flying-foxes being orphaned and wounded. These defenseless babies are left to a slow and protracted death from dehydration, starvation, maggots and crow predation. A spokesperson for Growcom stated in March, 2011, "The EPA's response is that growers should ring bat carers in their district about the problem when the agency knows full well that there are insufficient numbers of bat carers available to cover the many hectares of orchards and thousands of bats involved." With the government shedding staff, we know that enforcement of lethal DMP's are nothing more than wishful thinking.

The Queensland Government have legislated to kill bats under a quota system but they have no accurate population figures on which to base this quota. We do know that many thousands of flying-foxes will be shot and that they will suffer prolonged, agonising deaths as it is impossible to enforce both humane outcomes and quota limits on the many properties that will apply for Damage Mitigation Permits (DMP's).

EXCLUSION NETTING IS THE ANSWER, SLAUGHTER OF BATS IS NOT!

Action required!

Please email the LNP leader Campbell Newman at leader@lnpqld.org.au together with the Minister for the Environment, Andrew Powell at andrew.powell@lnpqld.org.au and explain to them that Queenslanders will not sit idly by and watch the disgraceful slaughter of a gentle and essential native mammal. Tell them that –

- There is no excuse for animal cruelty regardless of the species.
- Queenslanders will not tolerate nor condone cruelty to animals on any level.
- Shooting bats is not sustainable and nor it is acceptable behaviour in the 21st century
- You vehemently object to cruel methods of crop protection and colony dispersals such as the shooting of flying-foxes. Over 90% of bats die agonisingly slow deaths as a result of wounds and orphaned, defenceless babies die of starvation, dehydration, maggot and crow attacks. If found by farmers, they may be inhumanely dispatched.
- There is no accurate way of identifying species in the dark and shotguns do not discriminate. Therefore, Federally listed animals will be shot and this will hasten species demise.
- Preservation of flying-foxes is a priority and the focus should be on education, habitat preservation and conservation of our native species to ensure a future for all Queenslanders and a healthy and diverse environment for generations to come.
- Farmers have far more effective, nonlethal choices and full exclusion netting is the only humane, progressive and acceptable method of crop protection. Exclusion netting produces 100% of a crop, achieves high export dollars and ensures no predation from rats, possums, insects, birds or bats. There is reliable evidence that netting costs are entirely recouped within the first 5 years following their installation.
- Shooting bats doesn't work in the long term and it has no appreciable effect on crop protection when native food is scarce, bats are hungry and crop predation is heavy but it does impact significantly on species populations. Government sanctioned cruelty sends an unforgivable message to the public and it reflects poorly on Australia as a nation.

TELL MR. NEWMAN AND MR. POWELL THAT THEY HAVE GOT IT ALL WRONG AND THAT QUEENSLANDERS WON'T TOLERATE GOVERNMENT SANCTIONED CRUELTY.

THANK-YOU ON BEHALF OF OUR SENTIENT FOREST POLLINATORS.


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