Greens’ hypocrisy over foxes and wild deer

The Australian Greens Party has once again demonstrated why the party cannot be trusted on vital conservation and wildlife management issues, despite its pro-environment image. Retired party leader Bob Brown returned somewhat to the party’s ideologies of protecting the environment, calling for the Tasmanian government to instigate aerial culling of wild deer as uncontrolled numbers continue to destroy wilderness heritage areas.

Airing his views in a personal submission to the Wild Fallow Deer Population Inquiry, Mr Brown used evidence from New Zealand to argue that baiting and aerial shooting is a successful option to cull wild deer in his home state of Tasmania. “Helicopter culling and 1080 poisoning proved to be the turnaround point for deer control in New Zealand at its current feral population of some 250,000. As 1080 poisons many wildlife species in Tasmania (there are no native mammals in New Zealand), this is not an option here,” he wrote. “Helicopter culling is a best available option for Tasmania.”

Mr Brown also took aim at goats, writing: “Fallow deer cannot be eradicated once established in forested areas but their population in such areas can be controlled. Deer (and goats) can be prevented from spreading to new areas. Aerial culling is required.”

While the SSAA-LA applauds Mr Brown for acknowledging that shooting is an effective culling method, we point out that aerial culling is expensive and funded by the taxpayer. Ground shooting by experienced volunteer hunters from the SSAA, on the other hand, is a more cost-effective and viable option.

At the same time as its past leader was showing some sense on controlling pest animals, a New South Wales Greens MP cuddled up to the Sydney Fox Rescue group in joining its quest to legalise foxes as pets. In a blatant show of ignorance, Jamie Parker MP used the irrelevant NSW greyhound racing ban to call for European red foxes to be reclassified from pests to legal pets. “There are changes to protect (greyhound) dogs but… on the other hand people can’t even rescue an injured or orphaned fox,” he told the Daily Telegraph, before musing: “Why wouldn’t you allow someone to do that?”

The SSAA-LA urges Mr Parker and his fox-loving friends to venture outside Sydney suburbia and witness the damage animals like foxes are causing to farmland and national parks alike.

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