A STAGGERING number of wallabies and possums have been culled in the past 4½ years under crop protection permits, documents show.
An average of 1110 wallabies and possums have been culled every day under the permits, Right to Information data requested by the Mercury shows.
The data also shows there have not been any wombats killed under the permit system so far this year, with a drop-off in numbers after 2017.
Earlier this week, it was revealed seven platypuses died in nets used in Tasmania’s carp eradication program under permits issued by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.
Right to Information documents showed more than 12,000 crop protection permits had been issued for the culling of native animals in Tasmania including galahs, green rosellas, wombats and platypuses in the last 5½ years. The quota, or maximum number of the species able to be taken using the permit was also included.
PERMITS ALLOW HUGE NUMBER OF ANIMALS TO BE CULLED
Nearly 2 million wallabies and possums were culled under crop protection permits in the past 4½ years.
A new Right to Information request by the Mercury has revealed the exact number of animals reported as being culled under a permit since 2015 for wombats, forester kangaroos, and brush tail possum and wallabies including pademelons.
The total amount for possums and wallabies recorded as being culled over the 4½ years was 1.857 million.
More than 35,600 forester kangaroos were culled in the same period. No wombats have been recorded as culled so far this year and only six were recorded for 2018. In 2017, there were 128 culled from six permits, 1259 culled from 52 permits in 2016 and 1310 killed from 55 permits in 2015.
REVEALED: SHOCK NUMBER OF WILDLIFE CULL PERMITS
In 2017, there was a highly publicised campaign by an army of wombat warriors calling on the State Government to stop allowing landowners to shoot healthy wombats via crop protection permits.
Founder of the Wombat Warriors group John Harris on Wednesday said it appeared the primary industries sector had listened to community concerns.
“Are Tasmanian consumers prepared to say the food I’m eating at my table or was exported was made by culling wombats on a property and the answer is clearly not, so well done to Tasmanian farmers for understanding the plight,” he said.
No wombats have been culled so far this year.
Greens’ environment spokesperson Rosalie Woodruff labelled the figures as shocking.
“Permits were issued to kill thousands of wombats over years, a beloved species that is struggling to survive — those death toll figures only dropped following strong and sustained public pressure on the Government,” she said.
“As soon as they came to office, the Liberals stopped supporting landowners to manage native animals sustainably and humanely, and instead have prioritised shooting to kill as the primary management tool.”
Premier Will Hodgman previously said there needed to be a balance between managing animals’ impact on the agricultural sector and species conservation.
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