The RSPCA has been accused of being blind to the threat that crocodiles and sharks pose to the lives of North Queenslanders.
Responding to comments made by the RSPCA Brisbane head office that problem crocodiles should not be culled, Katter’s Australian Party MPs have said the RSPCA has got it wrong and could face major public backlash in the North as a result.
In a recent media interview an RSPCA Brisbane spokesman said the association opposed the culling of problem crocodiles in the North and that animals should be trapped and removed, not culled.
KAP State Leader Robbie Katter said the RSPCA’s comments suggested more value should be placed on the lives of crocs and sharks than on humans.
“We want problem crocodiles and sharks culled from areas that put at risk human life and livestock,” the Member for Traeger said.
“We have had a spate of serious shark attacks in the North in recent months and the government was right to put out its bait lines to reduce the attacks and hopefully cull problem sharks.”
Mr Katter said crocodile numbers in North Queensland and the Northern Territory had exploded in recent years.
”Earlier this month, we had a national parks ranger taken by a croc in the Northern Territory, so the threat in northern areas is real and serious,” he said.
“There should be no soft line on croc culling and in this instance, the RSPCA has got it wrong.”
Mr Katter said during the last three years there had been numerous crocodile attacks – three of which had been fatal – in Queensland.
”Lifesavers in North Queensland are very concerned that it is not a matter of if, but when someone is taken on their beaches,” he said.
The KAP’s Safer Waterways Bill is currently before the Queensland Parliament.
The Bill aims to create an appropriate regulatory framework for the responsible management of croc numbers in the North by allowing local indigenous rangers or people licensed by them to cull crocodiles.
It also contains provisions for egg-management and animal transfer programs.
Mr Katter said the Bill would not only make it safer for people taking advantage of North Queensland’s natural assets, but would also protect the region’s tourism industry and create new industries for First Australians