Learning late last year that South Australia’s Wildlife Ethics Committee of the Department of Environment , Water and Natural Resources had approved a project to excavate active wombat burrows in the Murray Darling Basin, the Panel immediately brought this to the notice of RSPCA SA and assisted RSPCA SA in lodging its appeal (under sec 26, Animal Welfare Act 1985 ) to the Minister, the Hon Ian Hunter MLC.
The appeal is brought principally on the basis that the project is contrary to the Code for the Care and use of Animals for Scientific Purposes. The stated object of the project is to discourage wombats from damaging agricultural areas. In summary, it is argued that the potential benefits of the project are outweighed by the harm or death caused to the wombats, who are either buried alive or displaced and unable to find alternate burrows in which to live.
The Minister has requested that the project be suspended pending the determination of the appeal.
Photo of Puddy courtesy of the Wombat Awareness Organisation: http://wombatawareness.com/