Crit­i­cism won’t stop bat per­mits

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

THE State Gov­ern­ment will is­sue kill per­mits to farm­ers to shoot fly­ing foxes that are caus­ing dam­age to fruit or veg­eta­bles.

De­spite crit­i­cism from an­i­mal wel­fare ad­vo­cates, lo­cal farm­ers that are suf­fer­ing crop losses be­cause of bats can ap­ply for the per­mits as part of an over­haul of the dam­age mit­i­ga­tion per­mit sys­tem.

Mem­ber for Cook David Kemp­ton said the State Gov­ern­ment “will act re­spon­si­bly to re­move bats where they are hav­ing eco­nomic im­pact or en­dan­ger­ing the health of peo­ple or live­stock”.

“We’re not nec­es­sar­ily go­ing to take a Bob Kat­ter ap­proach of shoot­ing all the bats, we will use what­ever rea­son­able means nec­es­sary to re­move them from fruit crop regions and also con­duct re­search into the big­ger picture of why bats are re­lo­cat­ing in such large num­bers in ur­ban ar­eas,” he said.

Far North Queens­land Wildlife Res­cue mem­ber An­nie Schoen­berger said it was not just bats de­stroy­ing crops.

“There are also birds in­volved with this,” she said.

“The plan to is­sue these li­cences to shoot bats is an in­hu­mane way for farm­ers to try and rid them­selves of this is­sue.

“Shoot­ing them is just tak­ing us back into the dark ages. There are other ways to deal with bats, like safe net­ting.

“We think the Gov­ern­ment should take a look at the rea­sons why bats are com­ing to these ar­eas.

“So much of their nat­u­ral habi­tat is be­ing de­stroyed that they are forced to seek food else­where.”

Hang­ing around: Fruit bats

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