Flying Fox Case

The Flying Fox Case involved an application for an injunction in the Federal Court of Australia under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act) to restrain the killing of thousands of flying foxes on a lychee farm in North Queensland using a large electric grid.

The case was brought by a conservationist, Dr Carol Booth, after she visited the farm and found extensive evidence of the killing. The following footage was taken by her on the farm and used as evidence in the court proceedings. It shows dead flying foxes on the ground at base of the electric grids and hanging in the electric grids running down lines of lychee trees. In one section Dr Booth is shown with a live juvenile bat found lieing with its dead mother.

Key documents for this case are:

After Branson J granted the injunction restraining the operation of the electric grid the farmers applied for the Minister's approval under the EPBC Act to kill "approximately 5,500 Spectacled flying foxes" in the 2002 lychee season. The application was refused.

Key documents for the referral are:

  • Minister's decision that the proposed action was a controlled action requiring approval under the EPBC Act;
  • Public submission by Dr Carol Booth on why approval should be refused (Nb. This is an example of a well written public submission - it is clear, logical, relevant to the issues the decision-maker must consider, and based on evidence rather than an emotional plea);
  • Minister's decision to refuse the proposed action.

In 2004 one of the farmers applied to the Federal Court to have the injunction removed. That application was refused: Bosworth v Booth [2004] FCA 1623. An appeal against that decision was also refused.

An article explaining the background to this case and its significance is available here.

Page photo: "Stephen", a juvenile Spectacled Flying Fox, by Dr Carol Booth, 2001.
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BATS. Megabats, Flying-foxes, Fruit bats and Microbats: Flying Fox Case
Flying Fox Case
Flying Fox Case
BATS. Megabats, Flying-foxes, Fruit bats and Microbats
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