Petition fights to protect feral pest management
THE management of feral pests which destroy farm crops and native wildlife could be hamstrung unless the agricultural and hunting industries fight back, says Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto.
Mr Dametto has sponsored a parliamentary e-petition started by feral pig control business owner Sam Floss, which calls on the House to do all within its power to prevent a legislative ban on trapping, baiting, shooting and dogs for controlling feral or pest animals and prevent any changes to the Section 42 of the current Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 and its associated Regulations.
“This petition is about forcing the State Labor Government to guarantee the existing methods used to manage feral pigs, such as baits, traps and dogs, continue as allowed under the existing legislation,” Mr Dametto said.
“I fear the government’s recently announced review into the Animal Care and Protection Act could be just the start of a wider push to crack down on hunting methods animal activists in Brisbane don’t like, based on their feelings instead of facts.”
Mr Dametto said it was worrying that in a media statement on April 4, Agriculture Minister Mark Furner admitted the government would be “working closely” with the RSPCA on the review, which the Minister labelled an “important animal welfare partner”.
“Mr Furner has since come out publicly and said the RSPCA does not speak for the government, so why were they the only organisation singled out for praise in his media statement? It’s mixed messaging at best and reeks of favouritism,” Mr Dametto said.
“I fear what sort of influence the RSPCA will have over this review and where this could be heading. It doesn’t matter that the review isn’t looking at the use of hunting or working dogs. This can be used a springboard to launch a full-throated attack on all methods of feral pig management across Queensland. We need to remain vigilant.”
Mr Floss, who runs Cane Pig Queensland, said his primary concern over the government’s review was of “the impact it may have on Queensland’s farming communities”.
“I hold grave concerns all methods of controlling feral and pest animals will be impacted by this review,” he said.
“The impact for our business, agricultural businesses and for pest management businesses would be catastrophic. “
Mr Dametto said Katter’s Australian Party would fight against any changes to the Animal Care and Protection Act that would ban any existing method used to manage feral pests in Queensland.
“Pig hunters need to be recognised for the important role they play in protecting our state’s flora and fauna. Thousands of hunting enthusiasts act as volunteer pest managers across the State. Without them, we can say goodbye to agriculture and native wildlife such as turtles and cassowaries. We need to be doing all we can to protect their ability to be effective when undertaking this task,” Mr Dametto said.
Mr Dametto said in addition to sponsoring Mr Floss’ petition, he had written to Agriculture Minister Mark Furner requesting a guarantee that there would not be a legislative ban on existing feral pest control methods.
The petition will close on May 24 after which it will be assigned to the relevant Minister for a response within 30 days.
To sign the petition, click here.
Queenslanders can also make a submission to the review up until Friday May 21 by visiting biosecurity.qld.gov.au and searching for ‘ACPA review’ to complete the survey or submit a written response.