MEDIA RELEASE: 21ST JANUARY 2020
ANIMAL JUSTICE PARTY CONDEMNS ‘GREEN XENOPHOBIA’ GONE MAD IN GOVERNMENT’S PLAN FOR LARGEST MASS SLAUGHTER OF ANIMALS FOLLOWING BUSHFIRES
Animal Justice MPs Emma Hurst and Mark Pearson say they are horrified at the recent plan announced by NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean to conduct the state’s largest ever mass slaughter of non-native animals. It is understood the Minister’s announcement followed pressure from Greens MP Cate Faehrmann.
“This ecological cleansing madness needs to stop. We have already lost over 1.25 billion animals in the bushfires – why are the NSW Government and the Greens intent on raising that number even further?” said Ms Hurst.
“Statements from Ms Faehermann that she is “thrilled” about this planned mass-killing of animals shows how out of touch the Greens are - both with the latest science regarding introduced animals, and with the feelings of everyday Australians who have already seen enough pain, suffering and bloodshed this bushfire season.
“If the Greens and the Environment Minister were serious about taking action to protect native animals and threatened species, they would be supporting our call for a moratorium on activities that are really threatening native animals such as logging, deforestation, and the slaughter of our native wildlife such as kangaroos for profit - all which are still continuing, despite the enormous loss of over a billion animals in the bushfire season.
MLC Mark Pearson wrote to the Minister over a week ago calling for food drops to save bush fire survivors. “This Rambo operation will be costing thousands- that money could be used to drop food for threatened species to ensure they actually survive”, Mr Pearson stated.
“Further, mass killing of non-natives could cause greater loss of life for threatened species. Poisons like 1080 are often accidentally ingested by companion animals and threatened native species, and cause a slow, agonizing death for any animal unfortunate enough to ingest it,” Mr Pearson added.
As Australians remain distraught by the unprecedented number of wild animals that have perished in the past months, Ms Hurst is urging the Minister to look toward kinder, more humane solutions to aim to reduce the loss of life this bushfire season – not increase it.
“We have been contacted by an increasing number of community members who are furious by the decision of the NSW Government to go on a killing spree,” said Ms Hurst.
“Now, more than ever, we need to be looking at the latest ecological research to find new, sustainable ways to manage the relationship between humans, native animals and non-native animals in the wild. Ecologists are increasingly recognising that eliminating non-native species - particularly those that have been around for several years - can be counter-productive.
“Demonising and seeking to eradicate non-native species ignores some of the benefits that these animals can bring to an ecosystem or, conversely, some of the unintended harm that might occur if they are suddenly removed – particularly in this fragile, bushfire-ravaged environment.
“Making rash decisions to kill animals, fuelled by green xenophobia, is not the answer,” said Ms Hurst.
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