Robin Pash

      The  Herald Sun (26-09-05)  

THE Federal Government will be asked to create a national body to supervise the eradication of Australia's feral animals.

The recommendation is a key finding of an 18-month parliamentary inquiry into how to rid the nation of millions of introduced pests including rabbits, donkeys, camels, pigs and foxes.

The House of Representatives agriculture committee has received more than 100 submissions on how to deal with the imported species.

Liberal MP Alby Schultz, who chairs the committee, said the inquiry report was still being written but it would urge the government to set up a body to coordinate efforts by the states.

"All of the evidence that the committee took pointed very much to the need for that," Mr Schultz said.

The national focus should be on eliminating exotic animals, rather than just controlling their numbers, Mr Schultz said.

"I'd be very surprised if the committee didn't agree we should be looking at eradication for exotic animal species that are creating huge impacts on our native fauna," he said.

Another recommendation would be establishing a national database to monitor pest animal numbers and record progress in control programs.

Feral animals remain a big threat to Australia's ecosystems, preying on native species and damaging native landscapes, as well as causing major problems for agricultural production.

The CSIRO says rabbits alone cost Australia $115 million every year in lost wool production, while European foxes - introduced for hunting - cost between $500 million and $750 million a year to control.

Wild pigs cost farmers about $100 million a year in lost production while every mouse plague costs producers an estimated $200 million.

The parliamentary committee received some radical submissions.

That included a suggestion from animal welfare organisation Animals Australia that natural selection should be allowed to take its course, leaving native animals to fight for survival against the introduced pests.

"Species which are here to stay because we have made this place such an ideal habitat for them must be permitted to settle into their new niches and stabilise their populations with a minimum of human interference," the submission says.

Mr Schultz said that idea was dismissed by the committee.

"We didn't give any weight to suggestions like that because that's way outside the charter of common sense," he said.

"Just because we introduced exotic species into this country, we can't accept the reality that those species are just part of the landscape.

"Our own native fauna are disappearing because of it."

The committee was also likely to recommend the continued use of the controversial poison 1080 to control feral animals.

Animal welfare organisations say the potent poison causes animals terrible suffering before they die.

But Mr Schultz indicated the committee would recommend further use of 1080 while research continued into alternatives.

"We've got to move away from the emotive side of things and come up with sensible solutions, working across all jurisdictions to control the problem," he said.

The committee's report will be tabled in parliament in late October or early November.



RE: Federal Govt Proposal to eradicate all introduced feral animals. 

Hi there everyone, the Australian Deer Association and SSAA  and other Hunting Associations, Clubs need to get lobbying about this proposal immediately and get some consultation going with our  Federal, State & Territory Governments.

I will do what I can through my local State and Federal MP's but I am only one firearms owner who has been a  keen hunter, shooter and gun man for over 50 years.

I take this opportunity to float an idea  to you all that I've had for quite a few months , its unconventional and is based on fairness and goes like this:

(1) A few years back, maybe five, our Aboriginal folk were granted the rights to hunt and harvest  protected  native species  of various animals on the basis these animals were part of the Australian Native people's natural food chain and therefore part of their cultural rights.

Non aboriginals taking such game would at least be severely fined and or have their firearms and vehicles confiscated and lose their weapons licenses

(2) Non  Aboriginal  new and old Australians whose roots are in most other countries of the world including Arabic and African ones also have a cultural tradition of hunting game for food, be it the various Deer species of many types,, wild Boar, wild Cattle, Buffalo, waterfowl, other game birds and so on. (I am not referring to big game trophy hunting which many misinformed public think that's what we all do. The current controversy about hunting saltwater crocodiles is a case in point)

(3) I believe we, the stakeholders for the preservation of  hunting & harvesting  edible game animals for food now described as 'Ferals' by many with their wild  and often unsubstantiated claims about how much money such animals  are allegedly costing  the taxpayer need to take an  urgent and entirely different approach.

(4) How about our Hunting and Shooting representatives who don't mind roughing it and enjoy sitting around a camp fire in our remote regions, arrange to have meetings with senior Aboriginal Tribal  & Council leaders in such regions to seek their support  of OUR cultural rights to hunt our traditional foods so as to be on the same  footing as they now are.

(5) The support sought  from our Aboriginal  folk is  both symbolic & political and could be by way of a formal Declaration or a petition or both or some such other instrument to be presented to the  Public and the various Parliaments. Its been my experience with the out back Aboriginals  I've met in the NT and Cape York over some 34 yrs is that they are fair minded and they  just like us, love to hunt and perhaps more than most can understand what it feels like to be discriminated against. One needs to be patient and don't expect to get any real discussions going for a few days, they will want to size you up and test your sincerity first. I would find it difficult to believe that the do goodie Cafe Latté set and our Pollies would come out against Aboriginals supporting non aboriginals cultural hunting rights.

 NOTE:  This initiative ought to be in tandem with an increased drive by all parties concerned  for cooperation between hunting groups and Farmers. The Australian Deer Association's efforts with managed blocks is admirable but with the limited availability of members  able to assist with the land owners tasks for a 'quid pro quo' situation can not make any real impact on influencing State or Federal Governments. In other words too few managed blocks.

6) Australian Game hunters have some formidable enemies which ironically they indirectly  help fund such as the RSPCA and other minority Animal rights groups. It gets worse in as much as all TV stations broadcast so many animal shows  these days that ferment the well known 'Bambi' syndrome. As some wag recently said: "There are so many TV shows now on animal care they are only equalled by cooks showing us better ways to cook and eat em;" I have data in my archives dating back 25 yrs or more about hunters being described in the media as being red necked Bambi murderers yet little has  since been done by Hunters representatives to counter such misinformed views. With all of the other pressures  and restrictive Gun laws forced upon gun owners of all descriptions the time for complacency is long gone.

To put it crudely, "its time to shit or get off the pot." The SSAA, the  ADA and any other stakeholders need to be prepared to spend some of their members money NOW!

As the recipients of this message are the only email contacts I have who have any ability to take my suggestions  to their various Clubs and Committees I ask them to do so ASAP and lobby amongst your selves to get together with all of the stakeholders and our Aboriginal brother hunters and present a united front.

I advise I am available for consultation and creative suggestions. When the feral animals are gone, so too is another genuine reason for owning a firearm.

Look at what's happened in all States to Duck hunting and who did anything to stop the bans. I haven't read anything.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Carew
(address supplied).