The Queensland Government’s Department of Environment and Science has completed their review of flying-fox management regulations for crop protection and have decided to stick to their election commitment to repeal flying-fox management regulations and return to a modern framework of protection. For the grower this means they have decided to move away from permitting the shooting of flying-foxes due to ongoing animal welfare concerns.
In a letter to Queensland Fruit & Vegetable Growers (QFVG), former Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Meaghan Scanlon said moving away from lethal take is in line with agricultural outcomes and best practice. The Australian Agricultural Sustainability Framework contains principles to protect and enhance biodiverse ecological communities, demonstrate transparency and accountability, and provide safe working environments. The upcoming changes align with these principles.
The announcement comes after a review by the Queensland Government Department of Environment and Science to understand the challenges of dealing with flying-foxes and the impacts on fruit crops with many members, including QFVG making submissions on this issue.
Lethal means will be phased out over the next three years, during which time we will work with the department on identifying and managing risks encountered by growers during this transition period.
The Horticultural Netting Program was suggested by the department to be a potential effective crop protection measure. Information can be obtained at the QRIDA website.