New South Wales bat cull could start this week, but vets warn it won't work

War has been declared on bats in New South Wales to try to stop the spread of hendra virus, or lyssavirus.

A new policy will give councils extra power to kill and move bat colonies.

But the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA says that the scheme will not work and could make the diseases spread more.

The association says the new policy that the New South Wales Government plans to introduce from today does nothing to reduce the risk of humans being at risk of bat-borne diseases such as Australian bat lyssavirus.

AVA spokesperson, Dr Robert Johnson, said the anti-bats package is pointless.

"It's no good shooting bats as it is just a pest control method and it is better to understand it from an ecological point of view," Dr Johnson said.

"Bats like eucalypts, so plant more eucalypts and that will keep them away from the orchardists.

"Shooting at them, or culling them may actually push the bat colonies to areas that are closer to human populations or closer to horses.

"The best way people can protect themselves from bat-borne diseases is to stay away from flying fox colonies.

"And I do really sympathise with orchardists that are seeing bats attacking and eating their crops and destroying their livelihood.

"There has been work done in concert with orchardists to grow the sort of foods they really love, away from orchard growing areas and keep the colonies away from the oranges, apples and peaches," Dr Johnson said.


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BATS. Megabats, Flying-foxes, Fruit bats and Microbats: New South Wales bat cull could start this week, but vets warn it won't work
New South Wales bat cull could start this week, but vets warn it won't work
BATS. Megabats, Flying-foxes, Fruit bats and Microbats
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