Another very sad development regarding the protection of
native birds. I don't think the subject has been raised - I was on holidays
during the month of June but I checked the archives. Someone passed the
following newspaper article on to me. It was printed in the Murray Pioneer, a
local newspaper that covers the South Australian Riverland and surroundings, on
the 4th of June.
---start of article---
Native birds to be culled
Protected native birds can now be culled without a permit by
the Riverland's orchard and vineyard owners. State Environment Minister Dorothy
Kotz removed the restrictions on destruction permits for the birds this week for
a period of twelve months. Farmers will now be able to destroy Musk and Rainbow
Lorikeets, Adelaide-Yellow and Crimson Rosellas, which are among the most common
species to cause damage to commercial orchards.
"The birds frequently cause damage to cherries, apricots,
pears, apples, wine and table grapes, which amounts to many thousands of dollars
loss to landowners," Mrs Kotz said.
Although the birds are a problem in the Adelaide Hills, Chris
Bennett from Horticulture House said few farmers would take advantage of the
permit removal because there was not a problem with them in the
"I don't think you'd get many farmers culling them
because the birds are not really around here", he said. "The birds
farmers do have a major problem with are corellas and crows."
The protected birds may only be destroyed by a firearm and
shooters must abide by several laws and the Humane Destruction of Galahs and
Little Corellas code of practice.
This is totally ridiculous! Many third world countries have
better laws than us. First it was Victoria with poisoning cockatoos; now it's SA
where basically all lorikeets, rosellas, and any bird that vaguely resembles
them are in danger of being shot at. I work for an organisation that coordinates
community groups trying to restore the environment in the Murray valley. We use
State and Federal funding to do so - to restore the habitat for these very
birds, that can be shot at will by any .. farmer who feels like it. It's about
time we take a stand towards this government sucking up to any pressure group
that may have a few dollars to contribute to the economy. SA people, remember
this at the next elections! It's about time we stand up against the arrogance of
certain agricultural producers! Surely we can do without their blood-soaked
products. Sadly enough, Dorothy Kotz came to the Riverland only a few weeks ago
for a ceremonial cheque presentation to community groups that had been
successfull in obtaining funding for their projects, many of them aimed at
restoring habitat for native plants animals and birds. What a joke! I guess we
can try to email, fax, write and what not but I feel so terrible about this I
don't think anything is ever going to help.