The Nature Conservation Council supports the NSW Farmers Association's recent calls for immediate State government action on the shooting of grey-headed flying foxes.
NCC is part of a coalition of more than 60 conservation, wildlife rescue and animal welfare organisations asking the NSW Government to immediately stop issuing licences to shoot flying foxes and instead assist orchardists in acquiring exclusion netting for their crops. Grey-headed flying foxes are an important threatened species but the NSW Government still issues licences for about 1000 of them to be shot each Summer.
In recent years Queensland has ended its flying-fox cull and an independent review of NSW’s licensing system considered the practice to be “in no way acceptable ethically or legally”. The same report found the industry could rely solely on exclusion netting as the means of grey-headed flying-fox crop damage mitigation.
NSW Farmers Association, Peter Comensoli, told the Sydney Morning Herald that farmers are ready to meet half the cost of netting orchards and look after ongoing maintenance.
The Nature Conservation Council is calling on all political parties contesting the State election to provide a one-off financial package to help fruit growers purchase appropriate netting and end the shooting of flying-foxes.
Read more in the article Farmers, greens join forces to save flying foxes by Aaron Cook (SMH, December 28 2010).