In September Sporting Shooter published an article on a proposal to set up a crocadile safari industry in Austraia’s Northern Territory. The article argued that culling was already taking place for problem crocadiles and changing the person who pulled the trigger could make the poblem crocadile a $25,000 resource.
This now looks setto fail before it has even got off the ground with the renowned Australia Zoo copping the brunt of the blame.
The plan, spearheaded by indigenous Gulf leader Murrandoo Yanner, could inject hundreds of thousands of dollars into remote indigenous communities by allowing wealthy foreign hunters the chance to shoot trophy crocodiles.
But yesterday state Environment Minister Steven Miles clarified his position on the proposal with a spokesman saying the minister would only consider a “non-lethal” ¬≠capture and release hunting model, which has been suggested by Mr Yanner as a “plan B”.
In the meantime, Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said three previous attempts by the Northern Territory Government to allow limited safari hunting had been knocked back by federal environment ministers, who were furiously lobbied by Australia Zoo.
Mr Entsch said, in order for hunting to be lucrative, foreign hunters had to be able to take their trophies home with them and required CITES certificates which could only be issued by the Federal Government.
“The ones with the money to pay for this come from ¬≠Germany and America … they will pay the big prices,” he said.
“We’ve had three attempts in Federal Government to have safari hunting approved and three times we’ve been knocked over.
“The main opponents were Australia Zoo. Australia Zoo says we have got to love them and cuddle them.”
The three rejected attempts to allow safari hunting were in 2004, 2005 and 2014, all under Coalition environment ministers.
“The last one was (Greg) Hunt but again there was a huge amount of pressure from the likes of Australia Zoo,” Mr Entsch said.
Yesterday Kennedy independent MP Bob Katter joined the debate by renewing his call for a crocodile cull and saying Far North Queenslanders were being “eaten and ripped to pieces”. He too blamed Australia Zoo after the organisation called on governments to rule out a cull.
The Cairns Post contacted Australia Zoo but it did not respond to questions before deadline.