This letter was sent to The Letters to the Editor of The Leader Messenger, Mount Barker Courier and the Adelaide Advertiser on 31 January 2001.
The State Government has allowed horticulturists to kill protected native parrots in the thousands. There is no doubt that inappropriate agricultural practices still continue.
The South Australian landscape has been degraded causing erosion, rising salinity and driving many native animals to the brink of extinction. Indeed it seems that they are only valued when they are endangered or caged. Australia does not have a good reputation regarding extinction of flora and fauna.
The River Murray is in a critical condition. In spite of this we are irrigating more than ever before. Vineyards and olive plantations are proliferating at great speed in the beautiful Adelaide Hills. The clearance of native vegetation has stormed ahead.
South Australians should consider:-
Do we really want to have a degraded and sterile environment in our remaining very reduced pristine areas? Do we want to have trendy industries that continue to degrade our environment to the cost of our native flora and fauna?
Do we want our beautiful Adelaide Hills to consist mainly of rows and rows of vines, with little or no native vegetation to support our unique wildlife?
Cleland Wildlife Park is only one park that feeds free flying native parrots each morning for the tourists to see and photograph. How long will this continue if they only need to cross the road to the orchard or vineyard to become a target and a bloody bundle of feathers?
What about vegetarians who make an ethical decision to forgo flesh in their diet. When they next have a glass of wine or piece of fruit, will they wonder how many birds were shot to produce it?
Would we mind paying a few cents more for our fruit so that humane methods of crop protection could be used?
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