Monday, November 13, 2006

Group Loses Bid to Stop the Use of Low Powered Rifles in the Slaughtering of Wallabies on Tasmania's King and Flinders Islands

Sad, but true. Here are a couple facts from the article below:

“The use of .22 rifles, under the Federal Government's wildlife management plans, was inhumane because they were less accurate than higher powered weapons and often only wounded the animals rather than killing them instantly.”

“The skins are exported to Italy and Asia for use in clothing factories.”

Article:

Ruling clears rifle for wallaby culls

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,20749131-1702,00.html

November 13, 2006 12:42pm

Article from: AAP

A NATURE conservation group has lost a bid to stop the use of low powered rifles in the culling of wallabies on Tasmania's King and Flinders Islands.

The Wildlife Protection Association, a group formed with the help of Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin and his wife Terri, launched an appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in December, 2005.

They argued the use of .22 rifles, under the Federal Government's wildlife management plans, was inhumane because they were less accurate than higher powered weapons and often only wounded the animals rather than killing them instantly.

Respected veterinarian and game shooter Dr Paul Hopwood told the tribunal in Brisbane he believed the Government made a serious error of judgment when it approved the practice last year.

He argued more powerful rifles such as a .222 rifle would work more effectively, and humanely, over distances greater than 50m.

But the three-person panel hearing the case in Brisbane ruled against the appeal on Friday, saying they were satisfied the management plans promoted humane treatment of wallabies.

The panel found .22 rifles were appropriate for use at distances less than 50m. They did not believe it would be practical for hunters to use them at longer distances.

But Wildlife Association president Pat O'Brien expressed his disappointment with the decision, saying many animals were shot at distances greater than 50m.

"Not a murmur was made about the fact that many animals are shot at distances greater than 50 metres and outside the reliable range of the .22 rimfire and not a murmur about the 18 per cent miss rate," he said.

Mr O'Brien said the organisation could not afford to challenge the decision in court and planned to turn its attention to lobbying the Federal Government and Opposition to change the law.

The Animal Management Plans currently allow for 15,000 wallabies and 18,000 pademelons - small scrub wallabies - to be culled on Flinders Island each year.

On King Island, 40,000 wallabies may be culled each year.

The skins are exported to Italy and Asia for use in clothing factories.

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