A Call for Writers to End Flying-fox Shooting in Queensland

The Continued Licenced Shooting of Grey-headed, Black and Little Red Flying-foxes in Queensland.

by Lawrence Pope

The permit-based shooting of thousands of flying foxes each year by Australian commercial fruit growers has tormented bat conservationists for decades.

Nevertheless, we appear to be making some progress.

QLDMy correspondence to the QLD Labor government yielded a familiar response though perhaps more nuanced than in the past. My query regarding the unintended “take” of rapidly declining Spectacled flying foxes was not addressed other than to say that their status was being reviewed and no DMP’s are issued for the lethal take of SFFs.

“ DMP (Damage Mitigation Permits) are only issued where non-lethal methods have been trialled and have proven ineffective…the Dept of Environment and Science (DES) approved 15 lethal DMPs in the 2018-2019 growing season with only 21% of that quota actually allocated”. I’m not sure what the latter means and will inquire further. There were several references to help being given to wildlife groups and efforts to make the management of flying fox roosts more “science based”. This probably augers well for the bats.

I think we should continue to call loudly for the end of all DMP/permit based shooting of flying foxes on both cruelty and conservation grounds. If it is the case that few DMPs are being issued and that climate change continues to increase its impact on biodiversity across Australia then, surely, now is the time to reduce all extraneous human pressures on these vital pollinators.

You might include something like: “Please follow South Australia’s, Victoria’s and NSW’ lead and move to end the established cruelty of DMPs without delay. No more shooting. No more death penalty for eating super-abundant fruit!”

Minister for Environment & Barrier Reef

The Hon. Leeanne Enoch, GPO Box 5078, Brisbane QLD 4001

Email: environment@ministerial.qld.gov.au

NSW:  State government no longer issues permits to fruit growers to shoot flying-foxes, 30 June 2021.

VIC: DELWP does not issue permits to kill flying foxes.

SA: Policy Intervention and Management of Grey headed Flying foxes :“DEWNR will not issue destruction permits for Grey-headed flying foxes.”  Well done SA!

A Call for Writers to End Flying-Fox Shooting in Queensland

by Lawrence Pope

Dear Bat Friends

Please see attached a copy of the Banksia Bulletin whose front cover and story features our happy GHFFs!

Well done Doug Gimesy for organising and producing this great piece of flying fox advocacy and community education. Feel free to circulate widely.

I have  received a letter from the QLD government that implies at least that it is considering changes to the “lethal take” of flying foxes in QLD :

“ In keeping with a government commitment made at the last election the department is reviewing the regulatory framework for the lethal take of flying foxes for commercial fruit crop protection and after considering the latest scientific data will introduce any changes found to be necessary to deliver a modern framework of protection for flying foxes. The scope and timing of those changes are still under consideration.

I read the above as code for possibly/maybe ending lethal take. However government departments are nervous creatures and require as much encouragement as they can get so please write to:

The Hon. Leeanne Enoch MP

Minister for Environment and Barrier Reef

GPO Box 5078, Brisbane QLD 4001

Email: environment@ministerial.qld.gov.au

Arguments against lethal take are many and may include : Killing pollinators is a bad idea. Biodiversity is declining. Bats = Biodiversity Resilience. Shooting flying foxes can never be made “humane”. Endangered Spectacled flying foxes (we’re not waiting for the formal listing) is an almost criminal act even if they are “accidentally” shot by growers in the act of shooting legal take Black, Grey, or Little Red flying foxes. Growing fruit in flying fox country entails a risk of fruit loss, a “cost of business” just as fishermen must cope with bad weather as a “cost of business”.  Our culture is changing and “Living with Wildlife” as an ethical maxim is now mainstream. Killing indigenous Australia is no longer acceptable – if it ever was.

So, put down the glass (or fill it up) and start writing – for bats` sake!

Best and Good Luck!

Lawrence Pope

Coordinator : Victorian Advocates for Animals

President : FOBB – Friends of Bats and Bushcare Inc.

PO Box 377 North Carlton

Victoria 3054


Banksia Bulletin, Bayside City Council Victoria, July 2019
(Includes an article on Grey-headed Flying-foxes & photography by Doug Gimesy)

Banksia Bulletin Winter 2019 

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