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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

6 October 2005

Crocodile safari hunting proposal rejected - crocodile culls to continue

A proposal to allow the export of crocodile trophies by safari hunters in the Northern Territory has been rejected by the Australian Government, the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, said today.

The controlled humane and safe taking of some 600 crocodiles each year from the wild for farming, skin and flesh production will be permitted to continue. This continues a practice that has been undertaken in the NT by trained wildlife officers under the previously approved management plan.

Problem crocodiles will also continue to be properly managed by trained specialist staff under the plan.

The Northern Territory Government submitted its draft crocodile management plan for Australian Government approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) last year. The final plan was received in March this year.

An important aspect of the new plan was a proposal by the NT Government to allow for up to 25 of the 600 crocodiles to be taken by commercial trophy hunters, and the export of the crocodile parts such as heads and skins.

The Australian Government has responsibility for exports and imports and therefore regulates activities where wildlife is exported overseas under the EPBC Act.

Senator Campbell decided to approve the management plan, but not allow the export of crocodile trophies by safari hunters.

In deciding whether to approve the crocodile management plan, federal legislation requires consideration of a range of issues including possible impacts on ecosystems and habitats, conservation of the species, effectiveness of management arrangements, and the humane treatment of wildlife.

I have considered the matter very carefully, taking into account the views of the public and a range of experts, and I have decided to approve the overall management plan - without the safari hunting aspect, Senator Campbell said.

I do not believe that safari hunting of crocodiles is consistent with a modern day approach to animal welfare and responsible management, Senator Campbell said.

Senator Campbell said the decision would not prevent the on-going controlled removal of problem crocodiles to protect the public and livestock.

Media Contacts:
Renae Stoikos (Minister Campbell) (02) 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

Commonwealth of Australia