PUBLISHED ON: 20 June 2012
In March this year, campaigning by Animals Australia and animal advocates, Colin Riddell, Bob Irwin and Rupert Imhoff led to two hard-hitting reports on ABC's 7.30, exposing terrible cruelty to turtles and dugongs in 'traditional' hunts in far north Queensland. Footage revealed turtles slowly butchered while still alive and dugongs dragged behind speed boats until they drowned.
Over several years, thousands of outraged Animals Australia supporters and concerned individuals have written to the QLD Government calling on them to act. Under this public pressure, the new QLD LNP Government pledged to remove animal cruelty exemptions that had left these animals vulnerable, within its first 100 days in office. This week it honoured that promise, with Agriculture Minister John McVeigh introducing legislation to state parliament to ensure dugongs and turtles are protected by the same cruelty laws that protect other animals. Local Indigenous elders have also shown their support for the decision.
Sea turtles and dugongs subjected to cruel hunting methods, along with other animals that are traditionally hunted such as kangaroos and goannas, all feel pain, fear and distress — regardless of who the perpetrator is. Cultures the world over are now acknowledging that tradition is no excuse for cruelty. This legislation will help to spare turtles and dugongs the worst of their suffering.
If you were one of the thousands of people who took action to protect turtles and dugongs then we sincerely thank you for helping make this important victory possible. Please take a moment to also thank the QLD Government for this significant decision.
The Hon Leanne Donaldson, Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries
(07) 3719 7560
Update 13 September 2012:
Yesterday, the Queensland Government passed into law the proposed amendments - meaning that turtles and dugongs are now protected from brutal hunting methods.