Day of shame: Threatened Species Day marks the start to shooting threatened flying-foxes in Queensland
Bat Conservation & Rescue Qld (BCRQ) today declared Threatened Species Day a dark day for flying-foxes, including two threatened species, with the Queensland Government implementing regulations to allow shooting of flying-foxes.

“The government’s decision to allow shooting of up to 10,000 flying-foxes a year is utterly shameful and will result in terrible animal suffering,” BCRQ President Louise Saunders said.

Volunteers from Bat Conservation & Rescue Qld will commemorate the day with a stall in the Queen Street Mall (8am-2pm) at the National Threatened Species Day event organised by the Zoo and Aquarium Association.

The batty display will feature live Grey-headed flying-foxes, a nationally threatened species that will now be subjected to shooting, a giant bat (costumed human), a bat slide show and bat memorabilia.

“Even the hardest-hearted person who dislikes flying-foxes would be appalled at the suffering that results from shooting in orchards – wounded animals dying over several days and young starving to death,” Ms Saunders said.

“As Queensland’s Agriculture Minister has said recently, there is no excuse for animal cruelty. Humaneness requirements should apply to flying-foxes as much as any other wildlife.

“Shooting flying-foxes was banned in 2008, after Queensland’s Animal Welfare Advisory Committee advised the government that it was inhumane.

“Now, the Government has decided to specifically exempt flying-foxes from humaneness requirements under the Nature Conservation Act.

“Even the two threatened species – Grey-headed and Spectacled flying-foxes – will not be spared.

“It is not only the flying-foxes in orchards that will suffer. Young are born when most fruit is ripening and they will die of thirst or starvation if their mother is shot.

“This is a terrible day for threatened species and flying-foxes,” Ms Saunders concluded.

The LNP in Qld in their ignorance have just taken steps to ensure that the fruit industry in Qld comes to a stand still.
This follows the announcement of the introduction of a new bill to allow fruit growers to apply for DMP to shoot flying foxes.

Despite the lack of scientific facts to back this barbaric method of crop protection and the evidence shown that such practices would do little to increase production of would appear that the LNP has total disregard for the suffering of these warm blooded important mammals.

In addition to this the LNP has failed to acknowledge that Australians will not stand for acts of animal cruelty and not so long ago the cattle industry was brought to a stand still because of it. Any one could reasonable believe that the LNP does not have the manpower or funding to police permits, and any of the restrictions.

Regardless of whether people like or dislike bats consumers would be reluctant to buy fruit which could be impregnated with metal fragments from bullets and blood and body parts from flying foxes

As from today whilst this legislations remains in force I will not be a party to acts of animal cruetily and will cease and recommend for others to stop buying fruit grown in Qld The real winners here it will appear will be orchardist from shoot- free areas of NSW, Victoria, and South Australia.

May I suggest that you also write to the fruit growers representative bodies (Growcom, etc) to let them know about your purchasing plans. And also to the main supermarket chains, asking them to stop purchasing fruit from growers who shoot. This is what is likely to have the most impact.
The only things these people care about are position and money. I urge all to spend 2 minutes and write to Andrew and Campbell saying you will not buy any Qld fruit whilst this pointless cruelty continues. It's already spreading on Facebook, so include these emails on all social media.

Andrew Powell email:

Campbell Newman email:

Campbell Newman Ashgrove Office email:

Here is Growcom’s contact information: There are also 4 regional offices, however none have email addresses listed. (Very easy to find – simply “Google” Growcom)
Personally, I think there is likely to be a much more forceful response from Growcom if all letters are also sent in hard copy. The strongest threat to Growcom will be seeing the risk of Financial Loss to their members. Does anyone know if there are any other organisations/representatives in the same “vein” as Growcom?

Head Office

68 Anderson Street

Fortitude Valley, Qld 4006


PO Box 202

Fortitude Valley, Qld 4006

Phone 07 3620 3844 or 1800 654 222

Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 5 pm

Fax 07 3620 3880


Media enquiries

For all media enquiries, please contact Growcom communications


07 3620 3844



Qld Farmers Federation


183 Quay St, Brisbane 4000


I thought that I would also contact local supermarkets to let them know I won’t buy the fruit unless I know that it comes from a Declared Shoot free zone.


Don't Turn Away

This is one of thousands of Flying Foxes that have been shot. Studies show that over a third of those shot had painful injuries such as this. They died slowly over hours or days . About 50% of the females shot were pregnant or had dependent young who would have died of starvation. Make no mistake, this is thousands of animals being subject to government-sanctioned cruelty.

Australian Bat Society (Statement)

"The ABS does not support the shooting of flying-foxes in any situation. We believe there are alternative humane, intelligent, non-lethal and cost effective solutions for excluding flying-foxes from crops. It is unlikely that shooting will solve the problem for growers, and inappropriate draped netting is likely to cause further prolonged suffering and uncontrolled rates of mortality."

"It is worrying that native species can be considered as pests and subject to inhumane methods for control, especially when two of those species are listed in a Threatened category under Commonwealth legislation."

"One if these, the Spectacled Flying-fox, which is listed as Vulnerable, has a limited distribution only within Queensland, and is therefore not represented in States that do not have lethal methods of control. The majority of Vulnerable-listed Grey-headed Flying-foxes are highly nomadic and move several hundred kilometres each year in largely unpredictable patterns, and we wonder about the effectiveness of shooting for such a species."

"The use of shotguns is not likely to result in clean kills or the recovery of wounded bats remaining in trees. The method is inconsistent with more comprehensive animal ethics requirements for scientists and, for example, the strict requirements for kangaroo culling which require clean kills."

"Flying-foxes perform irreplaceable roles in our native forests as pollinators and seed dispersers. The ecological role and ecosystem values of Australian native bat species obviously does not have sufficient weight in the public debate on flying-fox issues."

Dr Kyle Armstrong,

President, Australasian Bat Society, Inc


Don't Shoot Bats Campaign (media release)

The Queensland Government is marking Threatened Species Day this year by the re-introduction of shooting of two threatened species – Grey-headed and Spectacled flying-foxes, listed as vulnerable under national environmental laws.

A regulation exempting flying-foxes from humaneness requirements under Queensland’s Nature Conservation Act 1992 comes into effect today, Friday 7 September.

Speaking for the Don’t Shoot Bats campaign, Dr Carol Booth condemned the move as retrograde, anti-conservation and cruel.

“What a terrible irony for Threatened Species Day. Killing is the opposite of what is required to conserve Australia’s threatened flying-fox species,” Dr Booth said.

“Four years ago, the Queensland Government finally recognised the cruelty of shooting flying-foxes after advice from the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, and banned it.

“Now, the guns will be reloaded and up to 10,500 flying-foxes of four species will be shot under damage mitigation permits. Many more could be illegally shot, and thousands of dependent young will die of thirst or starvation.

“The Environment Minister has said he is taking a ‘balanced’ approach. Species are listed as threatened when their future is in the balance, so what is balanced about shooting them? There is nothing balanced about sanctioned cruelty.

“As Queensland’s Agriculture Minister said just three months ago, ‘It’s important every Queenslander understands animal cruelty is never acceptable.’

“Great suffering will result from the re-introduction of shooting: it is inevitable that some of those shot will die slowly of their wounds, and young deprived of their mothers will die of thirst or starvation.

“Fruit growers have cost-effective alternative methods of crop protection. Most do the right thing and protect their crop by nets and other non-lethal means. It should be expected of all.”

See for more information about flying-foxes and the problems of lethal crop protection.

Contact: 0448 868 984.

Shooting threatened flying-foxes legalised on Threatened Species Day

7 September 2012


Bat Rescue & Conservation Qld (media release)

Conservationist Dr Carol Booth said that the LNP Government’s intention to revive lethal damage mitigation permits for flying-foxes in orchards would require removal of humaneness requirements from the Nature Conservation Act.

"The shooting of flying-foxes was banned after the Government’s welfare advisory committee evaluated the evidence and found it was inhumane. A government-appointed panel in NSW also found it was inhumane," Dr Booth said.

"Either the Government will have to make a special cruelty exception for flying-foxes or they will remove the humaneness requirement altogether for damage mitigation permits under Queensland’s Nature Conservation Act.

"If we return to the situation prior to the 2008 ban on shooting, thousands of flying-foxes are likely to die slowly from shotgun wounds and thousands of their young will starve to death. This clearly constitutes animal cruelty."

"All Queenslanders will now have the same animal welfare obligations and it's important every Queenslander understands animal cruelty is never acceptable."Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry The Honourable John McVeigh, Media release, 19 June 2012

President of Bats Conservation and Rescue Qld Louise Saunders said she welcomes the message from the Government that ‘animal cruelty is never acceptable’ and that it should be applied to all wildlife, including flying-foxes.

"We demand that the same animal welfare standards apply to flying-foxes as to other wildlife.

"For most of Queensland’s history of environmental laws, flying-foxes were exempted from laws that applied to other wildlife. Prior to 1994, farmers didn’t even have to apply for a permit to kill flying-foxes and there were no limits on numbers killed.

"Now, it seems that the government intends to once again exempt flying-foxes from the laws that apply to other wildlife.

"We can only repeat the government’s own words – ‘animal cruelty is never acceptable’."

Contact: Carol Booth: 0448 868 984; Louise Saunders: 0425 73 4008Media release, 20 June

Flying-fox conservationists today criticised the inconsistency of the Queensland Government on its approaches to humanness for wildlife. Yesterday’s introduction in Parliament of legislation intended to improve the welfare of dugongs and turtles contrasts with the government’s intention to overturn a 2008 ban on shooting flying-foxes in orchards.


Australian Fauna Care (Statement)
In 2009 the only documented study of its kind found that over 60% of bats shot were female, and 70% of those were either pregnant or had dependent young - all which would have died. So the actual number killed was 40% more than the primary kill.
In every case where independent counting has been done, farmers have routinely exceeded their limits (accepted into evidence in three Court cases in Qld)

The numbers to be killed are obnoxious, especially in regard to vulnerable species such as the Grey-headed Flying-fox and Spectacled Flying-fox. It is just not acceptable to kill vulnerable species like this. Worse, the numbers that are being quoted are misleading:

Without supervision, there is no logical reason to believe that the lack of compliance by fruit growers will be any different than it was when permits were issued previously.

In relation to animal cruelty, the same 2009 study quoted above found at least 27% of the animals that were shot were alive hours and sometimes days after their injuries were sustained. Add to that the dependent young that would have died, and a massive 67% of the primary kill numbers were subject to extended and painful death - a primary descriptor of inhumane treatment. Based on a kill limit of 10,580 it could be expected that 7000 native animals will be subject to government sanctioned animal cruelty.

The Qld Minister for Agriculture John McVeigh said on June 19 "Animal cruelty is never acceptable". How then does the same Government reconcile sanctioning over 7,000 cases of animal cruelty each year?

The decision to subject any species to such cruelty is an anathema in modern Australia. That threatened species are to be the target is unforgivable.

Steve Amesbury, Chair,

Australian Fauna Care holds that the Qld Government's decision to reintroduce Damage Mitigation Permits for Flying-foxes is illogical, irresponsible, and unforgivable.



Here are media articles and media releases arising from, or relating to the Don't Shoot Bats Campaign:

The Courier-Mail: Anger over flying fox control plan March 7
Media Release (various welfare and conservation NGOs) March 7
Position Statement March 7
Brisbane Times: Welfare groups want bat killing ban kept March 7
The same article appeared in The Australian, The Weekly Times.
ABC Radio interviews of Mt Isa candidates March 9
LNP nod to shoot bats a return to 'bad old days' Townsville Bulletin March 10
Wildlife Care Groups Oppose Fling-fox Killing Media release March 14
Your Say Courier Mail March 17
QLD Government moves to change bat shooting laws ABC Rural news April 4
Queensland Cull hopes look shot The Australian April 7
Flying-fox crusaders slam LNP News Mail April 17
Bat Culling to be allowed ... Courier Mail May 15
No Large Scale Cull ABC News May 15 (video report)
Conservationists seek Qld bats protection Yahoo News June 20
Queensland farmers allowed to shoot flying foxes Courier Mail Sept 7
Qld Gov allows farmers to shoot flying foxes Herald Sun Sept 7
Shooting Bats - ABC Radio (Audio) Sept 7



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BATS. Megabats, Flying-foxes, Fruit bats and Microbats: Day of shame: Threatened Species Day marks the start to shooting threatened flying-foxes in Queensland
Day of shame: Threatened Species Day marks the start to shooting threatened flying-foxes in Queensland
BATS. Megabats, Flying-foxes, Fruit bats and Microbats
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