Shire to cull roos de­spite pe­ti­tion

Albany Extra - - News - Saskia Adysti

An on­line pe­ti­tion op­posed to the Shire of Den­mark’s plans to cull kan­ga­roos near the town’s air­port has more than 1700 sig­na­tures.

Wildlife carer Mag­gie Van San­ten started the pe­ti­tion and claims the Shire has op­tions other than culling.

“The Shire has said it could build a fence, but it’s not will­ing to put the money to­wards it at this point — so it de­cided to just kill the kan­ga­roos,” she said.

“To me it’s their home — they’re an Aus­tralian an­i­mal and they are our em­blem.

“I don’t think it’s right that we should just kill th­ese an­i­mals.”

Shire of Den­mark chief ex­ec­u­tive Bill Parker said near-miss in­ci­dents in­volv­ing kan­ga­roos at the air­port led the Shire to or­gan­ise short-term culling.

“Kan­ga­roos pose a se­ri­ous threat to air­craft, par­tic­u­larly when land­ing in the late af­ter­noon,” he said. “Given the risks,

Kan­ga­roos pose a threat to air­craft, par­tic­u­larly when land­ing in the late af­ter­noon. Given the risks, our im­me­di­ate op­tions are very lim­ited to a cull.

Bill Parker

our im­me­di­ate op­tions are very lim­ited to a cull.”

Mean­while, WA Col­lege of Agri­cul­ture prin­ci­pal Kevin Os­borne said the cam­pus, south of the air­port, had also been af­fected by in­creas­ing kan­ga­roo num­bers.

But Ms Van San­ten in­sists there are other op­tions the Shire could con­sider rather than culling.

“If it’s an emer­gency and the plane needs to land quickly there is a group of peo­ple who are happy to walk with their dogs to send the kan­ga­roos off into the bush — if they hap­pened to be on the run­way,” she said.

“Why kill an an­i­mal whose habi­tat we’re tak­ing over to stop a plane from tak­ing a quick loop?”

But Ms Van San­ten said de­spite the pub­lic sup­port she has re­ceived from her on­line pe­ti­tion, the Shire was still go­ing to cull the kan­ga­roos.

Mr Parker wrote to Ms Van San­ten to say that the pro­posed culling would con­tinue un­til April next year.

“Although the com­ments have been taken into con­sid­er­a­tion, the Shire will con­tinue with the pro­posed course of ac­tion,” he said in the email.

“The Shire has a li­cence to take 20 an­i­mals from the air­port re­serve and the li­cence will ex­pire in April 2019.”

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