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Wild Swan Slaughter Must End

31 Jul 2019

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment spokesperson

Environment Minister, Peter Gutwein, refused to take responsibility for Tasmania’s native swans, while the Primary Industries Minister dismissed the need to investigate their large-scale slaughter.

When questioned in Parliament today, Minister Barnett denied the need to investigate animal welfare issues or local population impacts resulting from the sanctioned mass shooting of native swans in Tasmania.

Shocking news reports yesterday revealed 8,000 native swans were slaughtered over the last three years. All permitted by the government under crop protection permits.

Of those, 460 swans were shot between 2015 and 2018 from two farms adjacent to the Tamar Island Wetlands Conservation Area - a place where birdlife is protected for its unique value. To June this year, it’s reported an additional 152 swans were killed in the area.  

At the recent shooting event on 7 June, local Tamar Valley residents heard dozens of gun shots and reported seeing swans dying slowly and painfully, with damaged wings flapping.

The Greens tabled photos in Parliament today of a swan without a wing unable to launch into flight from the water. Those photos were taken two weeks after the mass slaughter.*

The government collects no information on the localised impacts on Tasmania’s swan population of these massive so-called ‘culls’. It undertakes no investigation about the animal welfare issues relating to mass shootings of these large winged birds.

Native swans are protected birds, and mate for life. They are gentle, elegant creatures that most Tasmanians would be horrified to see harmed.

Minister Barnett must cancel all current swan slaughter permits and investigate the impacts on local population dynamics, as well as the welfare issues surrounding the wide-scale shooting of native wildlife.   

 

* Tabled photos were taken on 21 June 2019 at the second bridge at Tamar Island Wetlands Conservation Area by a concerned local resident.