Close to a thousand wallabies, an animal related to the kangaroo, were slaughtered last Sunday (7 May) in a day-long shooting hunt centred.
Close to a thousand wallabies, an animal related to the kangaroo, were slaughtered last Sunday (7 May) in a day-long shooting hunt centred. in Avoca, Tasmania -- Australia's southern state. The shoot is an annual affair and is described by its organisers, a local football club, as a sporting event. Naturalists have expressed concern, however, over the wholsesale killings.
Some 200 gunmen from all over Australia took part in the hunt, which has taken place for the past eleven years. This year, the organisers said there were some 500 fewer wallabies killed. Prizes were awarded for the person who'd killed the most.
The wallaby population in the Avoca area is estimated at between 40,000 and 50,000. The hunt organisers say the killing helps cut the herd down from pest dimensions. But there's been much criticism of the hunt and the way in which the so-called sportsmen go about it.
Wildlife preservation officials have called the slaughter "disgusting" and "barbaric butchery". They also state the hunts will result in the species' disappearance.
Local farmers, however, side with the hunters. And when the crew from the Australian Broadcasting Commission who supplied this material were filming in the area, they reported they were punched by residents outside the local public house. The farmers claim that wallabies compete with sheep on grazing grounds and, they say,the species can survive the culling anyway.
Scientists in Australia feel, however, that the risk to the species from the spread of civilisation and the activities of hunters is so great that they're re-introducing wallabies into Australia from New Zealand, where the animal is flourishing.
One of the shooters, Clem Cale, spoke about the Avoca hunt in an interview with a reporter from the Australian Broadcasting Commission.
SYNOPSIS: shooters in southern Australian state of Tasmania killed nearly a thousand wallabies in a hunt in Avoca which ended last Sunday. The shoot is de described by its football club organisers as a sporting event. But wildlife officials disagree and say there's real danger to the species. Local farmers side with the hunters, though. They say that wallabies compete with sheep for grazing land. But scientists have imported wallabies from New Zealand to preserve the species. A shooter spoke about the hunt.