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Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
6 February 2006
The Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, today welcomed a final determination by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, allowing the importation of eight Asian Elephants to Taronga and Melbourne Zoos.
In July 2005 the Minister approved an application from the zoos to import eight Asian Elephants, following a comprehensive assessment of the application under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
“I welcome the AAT’s decision, including the requirement for the zoos to provide me with an assurance that they will meet additional conditions relating to housing the elephants,” Senator Campbell said.
“Today’s decision is not only good news for the future of the zoos' breeding programme, it is great news for efforts to ensure the survival of the species.”
With fewer than 50,000 Asian elephants remaining in the wild, a number of activities - including increased urban development, habitat loss and poaching - threaten the existence of the species, particularly in south east Asia.
“The key priority now is to make this breeding programme work for these magnificent animals and I encourage all parties to support the Tribunal’s decision and work towards the common goal of conserving the Asian elephant," Senator Campbell said.
Renae Stoikos (Senator Campbell's office) 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434