Victorian Government Fails to Protect Koalas in Logged Forest

KinglakeThe Animal Justice Party has condemned the Victorian government’s decision to allow logging in the Acheron Valley despite warnings the forest is a habitat for native animals and endangered species.

To ignore scientific evidence that endangered animals reside in the forest shows little commitment by the government to environmental protection.  Instead, the government have continued a monopoly on logging from Victoria’s public forests through the state owned agency, VicForests.

The Animal Justice Party supports renewed calls for the Victorian Government to create a Great Forest National Park after the discovery of a dead koala in a logging coupe.

If the Andrews government established a 355,000-hectare protected forest from Kinglake to Mount Baw Baw and back to Eildon, they will contribute to the future survival of native animal populations, including endangered species like the Greater Gilders and Leadbeater Possum.  It is estimated the Great Forest National Park could attract 400,000 visitors, create 750 jobs and add more that $70 million to the local economy annually.

The Animal Justice Party believes humans can thrive without an adverse impact on wildlife and the environment through sustainable protected forests in Victoria.

The Victorian Government cannot continue to ignore the impact VicForest logging has on forests and native species.

Lead Pollution on Victorian Duck Hunting Wetlands

Photo courtesy Coalition Against Duck Shooting

Photo courtesy Coalition Against Duck Shooting

Responding to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) decision to carry out water and sediment sampling for residual lead pollution on Victorian lakes used for duck hunting, Bruce Poon, National President of the Animal Justice Party (AJP) said the decision proves there is reason for concern over contamination from decades of duck shooting in the Victorian Wetlands.

The EPA advised, their staff would conduct testing in the field, based on the 2017 hunting reserves, including fifteen lakes in the Western District as well as further north to wetlands including Cairn Curran Reservoir.

According to Bruce Poon, “We are hopeful that any lead pellet contamination will be dealt with swiftly, with closure of affected hunting fields and prohibit all shooting on any lead contaminated wetland.”

“It is concerning there is indication that some hunters continue to use lead pellet despite a ban being in place,” said Mr Poon.

Scientific reports have shown that lead pellet can contaminate algae and molluscs with subsequent ingestion and poisoning of waterfowl.

The Animal Justice Party is hopeful the government will take the responsible action to close any lead contaminated waterways found by the EPA when they issue their report in August 2017.