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Both Qld Political Leaders Rule Out "Bat Colony Culls"

Friday, 1st July 2011

However “moves to cull or shift protected bat colonies have been ruled out by both sides of Queensland politics” reported The Courier-Mail. Liberal National Party leader Campbell Newman yesterday “backed the Bligh Government in rejecting calls for a cull” & noted: “I don't think I've seen anything at this stage to indicate that's appropriate in this instance.” And Acting Premier Paul Lucas said bluntly: “It will not do anything to deal with this question sensibly by suggesting we have a cull of bats, which (a) wouldn't work, (b) would kill native animals & (c) would make us a laughing stock on an international basis.” Bat Conservation & Rescue Queensland president Louise Saunders said flying foxes were “vitally important” to forests because, along with certain honey-eaters, they acted as long-distance pollinators; she emphasised: “If we don't have these pollinating partners, our timbers are more susceptible to things like termites & wood grubs & the timber will be inferior.” She also noted any attempts to cull or move bat colonies would “ultimately be unsuccessful as flying foxes were highly mobile & gravitated to areas with a good climate & plentiful food sources”. Saunders called for “measured debate until scientists definitively identified the link between bats & Hendra virus in horses”.

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