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Seals at Risk Under Liberals' 'Three Strikes and You're Dead' Policy

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Thursday, 21 September 2017

Tags: Fish Farms, Environment, Marine Environment, Seals

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Marine Environment spokesperson

The Liberals' announcement they will cease relocating seals to NW Tasmania from Christmas - after the height of seal breeding - is purely political.  They haven't even ruled out seal relocation completely.

Liberal MP, Adam Brooks, apparently only woke up to this critical environmental issue a short time after putting up his last billboard. This is simply an election protection policy for Liberal Members in Braddon.

Despite posting record profits and knowing this was a major animal welfare issue for years, Tassal continues to drag its heels on seal-proof netting and relocated almost 2,000 seals in the last year.  If those seals are not being relocated in future, their lives will be at risk under the 'three strikes and you're dead' policy.

When questioned in Parliament today, Primary Industries Minister, Jeremy Rockliff, would not explain how long male seals may be penned up together before they're released and rule out this would mean more seals being killed.


Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens’ Animal Welfare spokesperson

inister Rockliff confirmed his government has a 'three strikes' policy and that seals are being killed because of it. The Australian Fur Seal is a listed as rare and should be protected, not killed because salmon farming companies don't invest in protecting their stock.

18 seals have been reported killed in the past four years, under the 'three strikes and you're dead’ policy.  With the Liberals' new policy to stop relocations, there will be an increased number of seal 'offenders', as they are relocated and released closer to their original territory.

Seals are clever and will find their way back to the salmon pen smorgasbord if they can. There are limited options to deal with them. The Liberals' refusal to rule out killing these marine mammals makes it possible more seals will end up dead, which is deeply concerning. 

Minister Rockliff must explain if he has consulted with the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee or the Chief Veterinary Officer. It was unclear from Question Time today whether advice had been provide - or sought - about this policy.

Australian Fur Seals are a 'rare' species, and like all Tasmanian native wildlife they warrant protection.  For the Liberals' to sanction their killing in the name of the salmon farming industry is completely inappropriate.