Con­ser­va­tion heav­ies film ad to stop killing

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - PAUL MIL­TON BUT­LER

SEV­ERAL heavy­weights of the con­ser­va­tion move­ment were in Port Dou­glas this week to film an ad­ver­tise­ment to stop the killing of dugongs and tur­tles.

Doc­u­men­tary-maker Ben Cropp and con­ser­va­tion­ist Bob Ir­win are spear­head­ing the cam­paign to in­tro­duce a mora­to­rium on the killing of dugongs and tur­tles un­til some re­search is done to de­ter­mine how many an­i­mals are ac­tu­ally out there.

“Ben and I felt it was time to raise aware­ness to peo­ple through­out Aus­tralia of this killing spree that is tak­ing place on a daily ba­sis which is just not sus­tain­able,” Mr Ir­win said.

“The Gov­ern­ment has their head stuck in the sand on this is­sue and is do­ing noth­ing.

“We must raise aware­ness to peo­ple in the cap­i­tal cities and peo­ple through­out Queens­land as well as rais­ing funds to help fight this very wor­thy cause.

“We share this planet with other an­i­mals and they have as much right to life as we do.”

The pair have been brought to­gether by Cairns res­i­dent Colin Riddell, a for­mer slaugh­ter­house worker who be­gan this cam­paign two years ago “to put things right” af­ter his time in the abat­toir.

Other mem­bers of the team in­clude Ru­pert Imhoff who has fought on the front- line of con­ver­sa­tion when he was a mem­ber of the Sea Shep­herd team which took on the Ja­panese on the open ocean in a bid to stop them from killing whales.

Mr Imhoff has also dug deep into his own pocket to help fight this lat­est battle.

“We all have to do some­thing to stop this as the num­bers are be­ing dec­i­mated,” he said.

An­other heavy­weight who has joined the fight is Sue Arnold from the or­gan­i­sa­tion Aus­tralia for An­i­mals, which is also the old­est an­i­mal care group in the coun­try.

“We sim­ply do not know the num­bers out there and so it is mad­ness to al­low the hunt­ing to con­tinue un­til we do have some sta­tis­ti­cal data,” Ms Arnold said.

“This com­mer­cial trade of dugong meat must also be stopped.”

The com­mer­cial will be aired in Mel­bourne and Syd­ney ini­tially and may go na­tional, de­pend­ing on the amount of money raised.

Cam­paign spear­head: con­ser­va­tion­ist Bob Ir­win in Port Dou­glas on Tues­day

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