Tasmanian birds slaughtered

Against Animal Cruelty Tasmania (AACT) and the Tasmanian Conservation Trust (TCT) are leading the attack on the recreational killing of Short-tailed Shearwaters. AACT and the TCT are supported by Wildlife Tasmania in opposing this annual massacre of wildlife in Tasmania.

TCT Biodiversity Campaigner Jennifer Rowallan states: “Tasmania is the only state in Australia that permits the recreational killing of Short-tailed Shearwaters. Elsewhere in Australia the birds are wholly protected, with significant fines for offenders. Victoria has not had a legal shearwater season for over 30 years.”

“Year after year the cruel and senseless slaughter of shearwater chicks happens in Tasmania at the hands of a minority of blood-thirsty individuals.” announced Chris Simcox of AACT, “Licensed killers drag innocent chicks from their burrows and break their necks in all manner of brutal ways. This cruel killing of native seabirds is not tolerated anywhere else in Australia and it must end in Tasmania.”

The other major concern that the TCT has is that the minister has failed to commit to improve the licencing system to ensure that chicks are dispatched more humanely. ‘The TCT met with the Minister in July of last year where Minister Wightman clearly stated that he believed that the licencing system for the recreational season for short-tailed shearwater could be improved – but nothing has changed. At present, individuals receiving a licence are given an information sheet after receiving their licence and there is no way of knowing whether they read the instructions, understand them and can humanely dispatch of a chick’, said Mrs Rowallan

“The shearwater slaughter is a continuation of the autumn killing time that began early last month with the opening of the duck shooting season.” declared Mr Simcox. “The Tasmanian Government displays its total disregard for the well-being of native wildlife by allowing this unnecessary, recreational slaughter. Untold numbers of shearwaters die every year due to starvation, entanglement in fishing nets, oil spills, and burning or trampling of burrows. We want to see Tasmania move into the modern age and provide immediate and full protection for these amazing native seabirds.”

‘For the next two weeks, tens of thousands of Short-tailed Shearwater chicks will be dragged from their burrows and have their necks broken, all in the pursuit of recreation’, said Mrs Rowallan. The 2012 recreational Short-tailed Shearwater season begins on Saturday the 31st of March and ends on the 15th of April.