Say NO to croc hunting
It’s hard to believe that a crocodile’s massive skull is home to a brain that is about the size of your pinky finger. It’s an interesting fact but actually makes little difference to a crocodile’s capacity to suffer or feel pain. What it does mean though is that it would take a lot of skill and precision to kill a crocodile humanely. We certainly don’t believe tourists should be armed with this responsibility, especially tourists whose primary motivation is to bag a trophy.
This is what crocodile safari hunting would be all about. The idea has again been proposed in the latest version of the Northern Territory Government’s crocodile management plan. The NT Government admits that safari hunting has nothing to do with managing the crocodile population and it certainly won’t help control problem crocodiles. What they say safari hunting will do is create jobs and boost the economies of rural communities. A worthy goal, but will it really?
There is actually already a safari hunting program in the Northern Territory, for buffalo and banteng, or wild cattle. However, while the NT Government insists safari hunting gets the dollars flowing into indigenous communities, they don’t actually quantify what existing programs are worth to those communities. There is no evidence to suggest the money even makes it there. The welfare of these hunted animals isn’t monitored either, suggesting to us that promoting the humane treatment of hunted animals isn’t a government priority. Thus, we remain sceptical.
Regardless of the true aim, the potential for cruelty in this case is enormous.
Peter Garrett, the Federal Environment Minister, has the final call. A succession of Federal Ministers has knocked this plan on the head every time it has been raised over recent years. Let’s hope Minister Garrett does the same.