BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The uncontrolled, unmonitored slaughter of protected Adelaide and Yellow Rosellas and Musk and Rainbow Lorikeets by commercial fruit growers was first allowed by the then South Australian Minister for Environment, Dorothy Kotz for a period of 1 year from the 26th of May 1999.

The following newspaper article summarises the result of this proscription. The article is reproduced with the kind permission of The Advertiser newspaper. (The Advertiser: www.news.com.au)


The Advertiser, Monday June 12 2000
Fruitgrowers' guns
kill 45000 parrots
CARER: Margaret Fuller needs a permit to look after this protected rainbow lorikeet but a farmer does not need a permit to shoot it.

Picture:
LEON MEAD

By BELINDA HUPPATZ
and KATE UREN

  FRUITGROWERS have culled an estimated 40,000 lorikeets and 5000 rosellas in the Riverland and Adelaide Hills in the past year.
  And the State Government wants to extend its trial "no- permit needed" rules for killing the protected birds for another five years.
  Bird groups which opposed the one-year trial that ended last month are appalled.
  "I've got two injured Adelaide rosellas at my home which can't fly and it costs me $40 a year for a permit to keep them," Bird Care and Conser vation Society member Margaret Fuller said.
  "But if I released my birds it would cost me nothing to shoot them."
  The society's president Sharon Blair says there is no data to show how many birds exist.
  "We've been fighting and fighting this for more than 12 months and feel we're beating our heads against a brick wall," she said.
  Former environment minister Dorothy Kotz changed permit requirements under
Section 51A of the National Parks and Wildlife Act just over a year ago.
  It meant growers could shoot the protected musk lorikeet, rainbow lorikeet, Adelaide rosella and yellow rosella without permits.
  At the time, South Australian Farmers Federation members claimed it was necessary to stop the birds from destroying fruit crops.
  A new bill is now before


‘Nobody knows
how many
birds exist’




Parliament proposing to extend the no-permit policy.
  Environment Minister Iain Evans said that the bill had bipartisan support as well as industry backing.
  "The Trial has had strong support and we think it should be given more time," he said.
  SAFF cherry growers section chairman Kym Green said most growers did not like shooting the birds.
But Mr Green, who has a cherry orchard at Lenswood said growers were under siege.
  "The solution is not shooting but it is a stop-gap for the interim until we find a better way of protecting our crops," he said.
  "At the beginning and the end of the cherry season, birds quite often destroy the entire crop."
  RSPCA spokeswoman Sabine Kloss said there was no evidence to show birds were in plague proportions.
  "We understand that the problem with the birds has to be addressed, it's not going away," she said.
  "But nobody actually knows how many birds exist - get some data, it's like flying blind."
  The Environment Department's estimate of the number of birds killed was from a poll of 231 growers.
  Ron Sinclair, senior research officer with the Animal and Plant Control Commission, said the number of rosellas killed was a "gross" underestimate".   He supported the cull, but said it was important growers instigated other controls.



Six months after this news article, the now Minister for Environment Mr Iain Evans allowed the slaughter to continue with the publication of the following notice.



No demographic studies have been carried out for any of these birds. No-one knows how many there were in South Australia before uncontrolled, unmonitored shooting was allowed.

Anecdotal evidence from residents of Adelaide and the Adelaide Hills is that the numbers of Adelaide Rosellas and lorikeets have declined greatly.


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