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Salmon Industry - Seal Relocation

21 September 2017

Ms DAWKINS question to MINISTER for PRIMARY INDUSTRIES and WATER, Mr ROCKLIFF

[11.03 a.m.]

Following the relocation of around 2000 seals from Tassal's pens last year, the question burning in the minds of many today is what alternative have you planned and what will it mean for the welfare of seals?  In the debate last night you did not deny the three‑strikes‑and‑you‑are dead policy for seals that persistently bother fish farm operations.  Can you tell the House how many of the 2000 seals relocated last year were killed?  Will this policy of killing seals continue?  Have you sought advice from the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee or the Chief Veterinary Officer to ensure more seals are not killed once the relocation ceases?

 

ANSWER

Madam Speaker, I thank, Ms Dawkins, for her question.  I thank the Greens once again for their support of our tough regulations bill for the finfish industry last night, which I appreciated.  My expectation is that as a result of our policy of cessation of seal relocation by Christmas there will be no extra culling.

Mr Bacon - You're not going to move them and you're not going to kill them.  What is going on?

Mr ROCKLIFF - Sorry, was that Labor policy on seals?  Was that a Labor interjection on seals?

Mr Bacon - We will ask Mr Brooks to yank your chain again.

Ms Giddings - You're the Government.

Madam SPEAKER - Order.

Mr ROCKLIFF - I have my ear open to a Labor policy on seal relocation.

Ms O'Byrne - Answer the question.

Madam SPEAKER - Order.

Mr ROCKLIFF - I can inform the member that since 2010, I am advised there have been 23 seals culled, 18 between 2010 and 2014, and only five in our term of government.  They are the numbers I have been advised.  The department will be working with those companies on the seal management framework.  It is not my expectation -

Dr Broad - You announced it on Facebook.

Mr ROCKLIFF - Sorry, is that a Labor seal policy?  They should come clean on their policies for seals.  Do you support the Government?  I am sure you will be asked throughout the day by someone other than myself.  We have listened to the community and we are taking decisive action.  I have answered the question from Ms Dawkins.