Another bivalve victim (moderated)

To: "'Stephen Ambrose'" <>, "'Ian May'" <>
Subject: Another bivalve victim (moderated)
From: "Geoff Jones" <>
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2013 13:18:54 +1100
Gidday Stephen 
                        I think what most of us who are concerned about the
Cannon Netting process would like to see some independent observers at the
Cannon netting sites. Unfortunately it maybe in the best interest of the
participates not to report any injuries to the birds as it may affect their
funding and that could been seen as a conflict of interest. I am sure that
both parties have the welfare of birds at heart and it would great if we
could all work together to ensure the survival of as many species as
possible with minimal impact on the birds wellbeing. 

Kindest Regards
Geoff Jones

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Stephen
Sent: Thursday, 28 February 2013 12:07 PM
To: 'Ian May'
Cc: 'birding-aus'
Subject: Another bivalve victim (moderated)


Your arguments so far appear not to have considered the role of Animal
Ethics and Experimentation Committees (AEECs).  Apart from relevant permits
required to carry out this work from Commonwealth and State environment
agencies, cannon-netting and wader-banding teams also need project approval,
and are subject to regular project review, by AEECs. A typical AEEC
comprises animal scientists, vets and representatives from the general
community who have expertise in animal welfare.  An AEEC is independent of
the research team seeking project approval and government agencies that
provide permits for the capture, handling and release of animals. AEECs take
into consideration the risks to the welfare of animals, the actions that are
required to minimise those risks, the actions to be undertaken in the event
of injury or mortality of animals, the capacity of the researchers to take
those actions, and the experience and competency of the researchers who are
applying for AEEC approval.  If the principal investigator of the
wader-banding team doesn't agree to the conditions set by their AEEC, then
he/she would not be given approval for his/her project on animal welfare

The principal investigator (i.e. the permit holder) has to report to his/her
AEEC on animal welfare issues associated with the project on a regular
basis, either annually or more frequently (e.g. at the end of a major phase
of the project).  As part of the reporting the principal investigator of the
research team has to provide information about:

(a) the numbers of animals trapped, handled and released, 
(b) the numbers of animals that may have been injured, unduly stressed or
(c) issues identified that may be impacting on the welfare of the animals
being studied, 
(d) actions undertaken to reduce adverse impacts on individual animals, and
(e) (if appropriate) recommend additional animal welfare actions that should
be adopted in the future in similar projects.
The AEEC relies on the honesty of the permit holder when providing that
information, just as the scientific and wider community relies on the
honesty of reporting of the scientific outcome of the investigation. 

If an AEEC concludes that a researcher has not considered the welfare of the
study animals to the AEEC's satisfaction, then it will not renew or provide
a new permit to that researcher until he/she can convince the AEEC that
he/she will not re-offend.

Given that canon-netting and wader banding/flagging is an ongoing activity,
one would have to assume that AEECs that review these projects are satisfied
that research groups engaged in these activities are fulfilling the
requirements of their permits with respect to animal welfare.

Stephen Ambrose
Ryde NSW

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Ian May
Sent: Thursday, 28 February 2013 9:17 AM
To: David Stowe
Cc: 'birding-aus'
Subject: Another bivalve victim (moderated)

Thanks David

Yes, there are many disturbance factors that cause alarm to waders and I 
agree, raptors, dogs, people, 4wds etc. are all problems.  But waders 
appear to cope with most of that because presumably they see the threat 
coming.   However the shock and stress levels inflicted on birds from 
Cannon-netting and subsequent handling are clearly in a much more severe 
class of their own.  The proliferation of cannon-netting around the 
entire flyway is more than likely to affect most waders either by their 
actual capture or their proximity to the attack.  In most wader flocks 
there are bound to be some if not many birds that will have experienced 
the horror of cannon-netting/handling etc..   If you have ever observed 
the extreme skittish behavior that develops almost overnight with wild 
ducks after the opening of the duck season, you will understand the 
behavior I am referring to.

It is the surprise shock of the attack that is most likely to be the 
cause of the developing feeding/roosting aversion behavior in migratory 
waders.  I could go on about how generally approachable waders were 
before cannon-netting compared to current patterns but that would be 
considered anecdotal.  It should suffice to say that 7 x 50 binoculars 
were sufficient equipment for wader observation before cannon-netting 
but now one is lucky if you can get close enough with a scope.  

Anecdotal accounts/evidence should not be dismissed so easily.  It's 
validity is about the same as accepting data evidence from a source that 
is operating because of a financial incentive to undertake the 
research.   In this regard the Shorebird 2020 exercise appears to be 
offering a potential gravy train of funds for pro banding researchers 
when the real need for financial support is for acquisition of wader 
habitat.   Without wanting to drag other contributors into this, I agree 
with the recent post by Chris Baxter from Kangaroo Island about the need 
to protect habitat.
who put the case far more eloquently than I ever could

Regarding mechanisms for a study to determine impacts from 
banding/flagging/cannon-netting migratory waders, I have previously 
written study outlines of minimum considerations required and held 
discussion with officials from the Cannon- netting fraternity about 
this..  As suggested in a previous post, we could soon put together a 
group to negotiate project objectives that would satisfy the obvious need.

Unfortunately, I have another life outside of all this so for the time 
being, I think that's about it from me.  Thanks everybody for your 


Ian May
PO Box 110
St Helens, Tasmania 7216


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