Author Archives: Eve Kelly

DELWP’s Attack on Wildlife in Victoria

Living with Wildlife Action Plan (a DELWP document)

DEWLP_LivingWithWildlife-ActionPlan_www(1)

https://www.wildlife.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/112429/DEWLP_LivingWithWildlife-ActionPlan_www.pdf

The main gist of the document and what we have known for years, as per DELWP’s information about wildlife on their website, is that they want to paint wildlife as dangerous pests, that cause humans grief and they need to be controlled because they are in overabundant numbers.
What the public doesn’t realise is that that whilst wildlife volunteers, conservationists, ‘greenies’ and wildlife activists don’t have a vested interest in the important work that we do, the government does $$$. Notice that even the link for this pdf is called ‘assets’. They are protecting their ‘asset’ that is wildlife and not ‘protecting’ them as native indigenous animals that have been here for millions of years.
By protecting wildlife we are protecting the environment and ecosystems that us humans rely on for oxygen and clean water. We protect wildlife, we protect all the grandchildren already on this planet.
This current attack is an illustration of a blatant denial of the importance of the environment and Australia’s responsibility as a member of a shared planet.

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Lidl Ends Bloody Kangaroo Meat Trade

 

Animal welfare charity Viva! scores another victory in long-standing kangaroo campaign as budget supermarket chain Lidl finally caves to public pressure and ends trade in kangaroo meat. With frozen food giants Iceland dropping sales earlier this year, Lidl had remained the only UK supermarket carrying the meat on occasion as part of their weekly promotional deals.

Marketing the ‘deluxe kangaroo steaks’ as nutritious and inexpensive Lidl consumers were unwittingly buying into the largest slaughter of land based wildlife in history. Hunted at night in the vast outback, with powerful four-track vehicles and mesmerising search lights, the startled animals are shot, supposedly in the head but many are in fact mis-shot and die a slow, agonising death.

Although no statistics are currently available on the number of wounded animals the Australian RSPCA estimates that 100,000 adults are inhumanely killed with some temporarily surviving with horrific wounds, such as shot off jaws [1].

Latest ‘harvest figures’ from the Department of the Environment and Energy have 6.9 million kangaroos earmarked for slaughter in 2018 [2] but this does not include the millions of baby kangaroos (joeys) that are simply thrown away. The Australian Government’s own guidelines [3] insist on clubbing or decapitating joeys, as they cannot survive without their mothers. Many will and do escape but later die from predation.

It is a common misconception that kangaroos are farmed. They are completely wild, which means populations fluctuate massively – and can be especially impacted by factors difficult to predict, such as drought and disease. Since kangaroos are a slow-breeding marsupial with low reproductive rates wildlife experts are concerned that turning them into just another commodity is not only cruel but also unsustainable.

In addition to the barbaric nature of kangaroo hunts are the human health implications. Independent testing has found dangerously high levels of salmonella and E.coli [4], as contamination of the meat is logistically unavoidable due to the setting in which the animals are slaughtered and transported. Contamination is that much of a threat that the industry is advising its shooters to spray kangaroo carcasses with acetic acid in the field. However, Food Standards Australia New Zealand are not monitoring the extent of its use and have not prescribed a maximum limit [5].

Animal welfare organisation Viva! have campaigned against the sale of kangaroo meat since its inception in the early 90s and achieved numerous successes in removing sales from Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Iceland and now Lidl.

“Having campaigned on the issue of kangaroo meat for the best part of two and a half decades I couldn’t be happier to finally say – we did it! The novelty value of so-called ‘exotic meat’ has been masking the true horror of a brutal business for too many years. As always, Viva! remain committed to supporting Australian wildlife groups to end the bloody trade and celebrate the kangaroo for its unique and iconic status in Australia.” – Viva! founder and director, Juliet Gellatley

[1] http://www.environment.gov.au/node/16662

[2] http://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/pages/d3f58a89-4fdf-43ca-8763-bbfd6048c303/files/kangaroo-statistics-2018.pdf

[3] https://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/wildlife-trade/publications/national-code-practice-humane-shooting-kangaroos-and-wallabies-commercial

[4] https://www.smh.com.au/environment/hygiene-threatens-kangaroo-meat-industry-20091117-ikf6.html

[5] http://www.aph.gov.au/~/media/Committees/clac_ctte/estimates/bud_1516/Health/Answers/SQ15-000406.pdf

Notes to editor

  1. Lidl quote obtained from Amali Bunter on behalf of Lidl UK CEO Christian Härtnagel: “Following recent customer feedback, we have taken the decision to no longer sell kangaroo meat at Lidl UK. This commitment will come into effect from June 2018.”
  2. Viva!’s kangaroo campaign website: savethekangaroo.com
  3. Viva!’s previous campaigns against this industry have achieved wide media coverage including: The Sunday Mirror, The Metro, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Grocer andThe Sun.
  4. For details of the human health implications of eating kangaroo meat please see Viva!’s updated fact sheet: https://www.savethekangaroo.com/factsheet (it includes details of a brand new kangaroo butchering facility closed down because of health concerns)
  5. Image of joeys: Ray Drew / Image of dead kangaroos: Viva!

*This article was written by Viva!

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Mass Deaths of Possums on the Mornington Peninsula

Ringtail on Balnarring Beach Monday Diane Leitch


It is so important that in the ever increasing temperature extremes and heat waves to ensure that you have water available to wildlife in your garden. 
Shallow dishes of water, bird baths, water troughs and ponds all make welcome additions to a large number of native animals. In a heatwave it may mean you save wildlife lives.

http://mpnews.com.au/2019/03/05/possums-die-during-four-days-of-heat/

Ringtail dead on Capel Sound Foreshore Pic R. Nevinson

Debbie Molenkamp Ringtail drinking St Andrews

How can we help?
In a heatwave it is really important to leave shallow dishes of water out in your garden for local wildlife, keep your pets away from wildlife in distress and if you come across wildlife in distress call wildlife rescue groups for help and/or advice. If you come across a ringtail possum on the ground you can place a towel over the head of the possum and the rest of the body and place it in a cardboard box and bring inside. Also, place a small dish of water in the box, do not try to force it to drink, and keep it dark and quiet. If the possum seems to have recovered by the evening and the temperature has cooled down, it should be fine to release back where you found it but please ask for advice if unsure.https://awpc.org.au/wildlife-rescue-numbers-australia-wide/

Check out this amazing video! Malcolm Legg’s Video- Importance of a water source in your backyard for Australian wildlife.

Ringtail watered J. Hansen Rye

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Pet Store Kookaburra in Virginia USA

Update Monday 8th April 2019

‘I located a beautiful sanctuary who was very happy to rehome Thunder. This sanctuary already has a female kookaburra named Adelaide, so Thunder would have gained a girlfriend companion. In the sanctuary, Adelaide is free to hunt her own food and live in a beautiful habitat. The not-for-profit Sanctuary was ready to drive up and collect Thunder.
I visited the pet store and explained my suggestion with the Owner, and how it would be a compassionate decision to relocate Thunder to the Sanctuary.
Unfortunately a vocal minority of Australians took it upon themselves to track down the Pet Store and constantly make verbally abusive phone calls.
The Owner was so fed up with the barrage of hateful phone calls, that he just wanted the problem to go away. This completely jeopardised my rescue and rehoming solution for Thunder.
He is returning Thunder to Florida, and we have no way to trace him. I imagine that Thunder will remain in a cage, in a pet store in Florida.
It should be noted that this small business did not break any laws, their only crime was not being familiar with Australian culture.Wendy Davidson, Virginia

Update Sunday 31st March 2019

People in Virginia are still actively trying to help Thunder, in a professional manner, Thunder’s case is still active and in negotiations.

This situation needs to be dealt with carefully and diplomatically and by those experienced with wildlife/birds.

People contacting and abusing the store are not helping and may be putting the bird’s safety at risk.

The Federal Environment Department in Australia have stated that he wouldn’t be allowed entry into Australia. We can now confirm that, according to sources in Virginia, that Thunder was legally obtained by the pet store who have a permit to hold and sell him. They purchased Thunder, as a chick, from a licenced breeder in the USA who has legally bred kookaburras for decades.

The AWPC will update the outcome as soon as we hear news.

Please read our full article below for important background information.

 

FYI (as per the article below) the AWPC did not say to just ‘leave the bird were it was’, we were actively working on getting details and still in communications with Wendy to establish the best welfare outcomes for him.

Read more:
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/…/US-pet-store-smashed…


The Story

Wendy Davidson in Virginia USA contacted the AWPC on March 19th. She was very concerned about the welfare of a poor kookaburra (Thunder) that is being sold at a local pet store. It is housed in a small cage and sometimes dressed up in outfits.

We also have concerns for the bird’s welfare, no bird should be kept in a small cage like this, but we are also are mindful of the laws and other matters to consider. Luckily the bird is being fed an appropriate diet, at the very least.

Firstly, it is essential to establish the legality of the store’s possession of Thunder. This isn’t the first kookaburra the store has sold. Apparently, kookaburras are becoming a more popular pet in the USA.

The Kookaburra – Both a “Zoo Bird” and Surprisingly Common Pet 2011

Thunder may have been illegally obtained, only the authorities in Virginia will have that information, and we have advised Wendy to contact DGIF, the state department who regulate wildlife and exotic pets in her state, and once we have this information we can work towards the best outcome for the bird.

However, he may have been legally bred and that if this is the case unfortunately there is nothing legally that can be done from our end. Another approach would be then taken.

As yet, the AWPC hasn’t been given enough detail to help in any practical way i.e. we don’t have the name of the pet store to ask the DGIF in Virginia the legal status of the bird. Hence our advice to Wendy to investigate this in Virginia.


Photo by W. Davidson

We have advised her to not buy the bird, as this just perpetuates the market for wildlife. If people are making money out of breeding Aussie species they will just breed more and sell to inexperienced pet owners, which isn’t good for all the other wildlife out there. It also encourages people to take animals from the wild to breed and sell and we don’t want that!

https://www.worldanimalprotection.org.au/news/5-reasons-not-buy-exotic-pet

“Protecting the wild populations of any species does not entail keeping them held captive as pets. Instead, we must continue to dissuade the public from buying exotic animals in an effort to reduce the demand that is currently fueling the illegal wildlife trade.”

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/reasons-exotic-animals-do-not-belong-in-our-backyards/

If Thunder the kookaburra is legal, the best option is to encourage the pet store to hand the bird over to a sanctuary, in good faith. A best practice wildlife sanctuary in the USA, preferably with other kookaburras, would be the best option and we are happy to help Wendy investigate a suitable home if needed.

Putting this poor bird on a plane back to Australia would be cruel and unethical. Thunder has only ever know a small cage in the pet store, and birds can be injured or even die if put in stressful situations. Even re-homing a bird that has lived in a small cage for years needs careful consideration, it will need some rehabilitation over a period of time to be introduced into a bigger enclosure, it will stress otherwise. The welfare of the bird should be paramount.

Importantly, Thunder would not be permitted back into Australia by the government due to quarantine laws. Australia has some of the strictest quarantine regulations in the world.

https://www.environment.gov.au/

https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2019C00151

It is worth noting that it isn’t illegal to breed and sell exotic pets including wallabies, sugar gliders, cockatoos, galahs and many more; as long as they are bought from a licenced breeder. You need to apply for a permit from state wildlife authorities and pay a fee.

https://www.cheatsheet.com/culture/most-exotic-animals-for-sale-in-the-u-s

The same rules apply here in Australia and many native animals (including kookaburras) can be kept on a private licence. Ch 7 news stated it is illegal to have a kookaburra as a pet in Australia, which isn’t technically true. The AWPC does not support native Australian animals being taken out of the wild and kept as pets.

The pet store has told reporters that the bird was legally obtained from a breeder who has been breeding them for decades. If this is true, then the birds may well have been legally imported into America decades ago when the laws were different and have been bred ever since. The pet store says they hand-raised Thunder from a chick.

“We would like to address this concern by stating that thunder was not taken from the wild in Australia shipped over to our store! Exportation of birds was outlawed over 20 years ago,” the post read.

“All of our baby birds including thunder have come from our reputable baby breeders that we have been doing business with for 30 years.

“Thunder’s lineage comes from a line of kookaburra that were legally brought into the states and legally bred through our licensed breeder. He was hatched in captivity legally!”

https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/aussie-woman-deeply-saddened-to-find-kookaburra-for-sale-inside-us-pet-shop/news-story/

Have a look on the AWPC Facebook page for more information about wildlife as pets etc.; we have made several comments on our posts that might be of interest.

We are waiting on an update from Wendy.

FYI regarding the comment about the AWPC. I have been speaking to Wendy about the kookaburra and waiting for details of where this pet shop was etc so we could investigate the legalities first. We certainly didn’t ‘pass the buck’ and were concerned about the birds welfare and willing to act and help where we could. The ABC didn’t contact us for comment.

https://www.abc.net.au/…/kookaburra-spotted-in-ame…/10939296

Well done Wendy Davidson for bringing this case to the attention of the media worldwide and to the Australian and American authorities. The issue of the wildlife trade, both legal and illegal, is a very important issue, and you have raised much needed awareness for Australian wildlife!

 

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Please Buy Goodwill wine to support AWPC

https://goodwillwine.com.au/charities/australian-wildlife-protection-council

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Please Speak Out for Kangaroos In NSW- Have your Say!

The AWPC is calling for all citizens to write to NSW ministers about the cruel treatment of kangaroos in NSW. We are hearing of horrible accounts of what is happening since Blair relaxed the cull regulations. Our wildlife is already suffering in the drought and they are being treated terribly now!

We have drafted a letter you can use and addresses below. Some background here: https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2018-08-08/kangaroo-protections-relaxed-by-nsw-in-100pc-drought-conditions/10088614

Insert date

 

Insert name of Minister here

Insert position

Insert address

Insert email address                                                    

 

Insert your full name

Insert your postal address

Insert your email address

Insert your phone number                                                     

 

Dear insert title and name,

I am writing to you, as a voting citizen, with great concern about the welfare of kangaroos in NSW. Relaxing ‘red tape’ with regards to the conditions of an already under regulated and inhumane system of culling kangaroos is unethical and irresponsible.

Whilst the numbers of kangaroos on landowner’s properties is disputed, the number of culled kangaroos and joeys, that are now not being counted, is not only unscientific but potentially damaging to the whole species and ecosystems that rely on these animals.

Our national icon is not immune to local extinctions, as seen in many other states in Australia, and I fear that without proper regulation we have no idea how the species is faring in already difficult conditions.

The emotive rhetoric that these ‘protected’ native species are a ‘pest’ is just wrong and this is illustrated by the poor governance of the species. When times are ‘good’ the kangaroos are culled because their numbers are in ‘plague’ proportions but now in times of drought they are still being culled for their ‘high’ numbers and also for ‘their own welfare’. We believe that this continued assault on Australia’s kangaroos is based on a culture of misinformation, biased vested interests and untruths which unfairly maligns the species.

Instead of targeting kangaroos the current practices of poor land, water and climate management should be the government’s main policy focus.

I object and am outraged by the cruelty that this species has endured due to culling/harvesting and insist that if the system can’t be appropriately regulated for it’s humane treatment of animals it should cease immediately.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Insert your name

 

 

Addresses for NSW Ministers to write to about NSW Kangaroo Culls

 

NSW Premier- Liberal

 

We can only email her website portal here: https://www.nsw.gov.au/contact-us/contact-the-premier/

 

The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian, MP

52 Martin Place
SYDNEY NSW 2000

 

NSW Environment Minister- Liberal/Nationals

The Hon. Niall Blair, MLC

Minister for Primary Industries, Minister for Regional Water, and Minister for Trade and Industry

52 Martin Place
SYDNEY NSW 2000
niall.blair@parliament.nsw.gov.au

 

 

NSW Opposition Leader- Labour

 

Mr Luke Foley MP
Mezzanine Level Lidcombe Centre
92 Parramatta Road
LIDCOMBE NSW 2141

leader.opposition@parliament.nsw.gov.au

 

 

Animal Justice Party

 

The Hon. Mark Pearson
Member of the Legislative Council for the Animal Justice Party
Parliament House
Macquarie Street
Sydney NSW 2000

mark.pearson@parliament.nsw.gov.au

 

Christian Democratic Party

The Hon. Paul Green, MLC
Parliament House
Macquarie Street
SYDNEY NSW 2000

paul.green@parliament.nsw.gov.au

CDP Fred Nile

Reverend the Hon. Fred Nile, MLC
Parliament House
Macquarie Street
SYDNEY NSW 2000

F.Nile@parliament.nsw.gov.au

 

The NSW Greens- Environment and Animal Welfare@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Ms. Cate Faehrmann

Room 1146
NSW Parliament House,
6 Macquarie St
Sydney NSW 2000

cate.faehrmann@parliament.nsw.gov.au

 

 

 

 

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