BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The uncontrolled, unmonitored slaughter of protected Adelaide and Yellow Rosellas and Musk and Rainbow Lorikeets by commercial fruit growers in South Australia 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 next Minister for Environment Iain Evans allowed the slaughter to continue for the Adelaide Rosellas and the Musk and Rainbow Lorikeets.

This action received world wide publicity and condemnation and on Wednesday 28th March 2001, Mr Evans announced that the regulation letting horticultural managers shoot these native birds without a written permit was revoked from April 30th 2001. (After completion of harvest.)

The slaughter continues under a permit system.

The article below is reproduced with the kind permission of the author.


The Advertiser, Monday June 24th 2002, page 17

OPINION LETTERS

Exporting native birds too cruel

In reply to V. Matthew's
suggested export of our native birds (The Advertiser 15/6/02), I agree a different solution to the present cull of these birdsa in the Adelaide Hills needs to be found, but export is not that solution.
   For nearly 20 years I have rescued sick and injured wild birds. During that time more than 4000 have passed through my hands. From experience I know many species of adult native birds react poorly to a captive life.
   The cruelty and stress of capture and transportation of healthy
adult birds is unacceptable. Also, once sold oversees, no control of their care and treatment will be possible by Australian authorities, as is now the case here.
   If readily available for purchase overseas, the price of the common species will greatly reduce. The bird smugglers will then concentrate on taking the rare and endangered birds banned from export, instead of those presently easily obtained, to maintain their high monetary return.
   I prefer to see the birds humanely destroyed rather than sentenced
to a life in captivity under unsuitable conditions. Bear in mind many species have a very long lifespan. There are worse things than dying - long-term captivity in another country would be that.

MARGARET FULLER,
Linden Park.



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