Hope in sight for turtles and dugongs!

Animals Australia

Animals Australia team

Last updated 14 March 2012

VICTORY 20/06/12:
Thanks to the efforts of Animals Australia supporters and other caring Australians the Queensland government has removed animal cruelty exemptions for ‘traditional’ hunting of turtles and dugongs.

This is a huge win for turtles and dugongs in Far North Queensland, who will now be fully protected under the Animal Care and Protection Act and spared the suffering caused by cruel ‘traditional’ hunting methods.

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.


Turtles and dugongs in far north Queensland are in deep water. Their numbers are dwindling and Queensland law is failing to protect them from brutal slaughter. But a recent pledge by the new QLD Liberal National Party Government may mean hope is in sight for these threatened animals.

Campaigning by Animals Australia and colleague groups recently led to two hard-hitting reports on ABC’s 7.30. The reports included footage filmed by QLD environmental advocate, Rupert Imhoff, exposing the cruel slaughter of turtles and dugongs for ‘traditional’ hunting and a black market trade in their meat and body parts.

WARNING: This video contains graphic footage.

These ‘traditional’ hunts are not only exempt from laws to protect endangered species, but in Queensland are also exempt from laws protecting animals from cruelty — allowing turtles to be carved up whilst still conscious and dugongs to be dragged for many minutes by boat, with their head under water, until they drown.

Sea turtles and dugongs subjected to these 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.

Following the 7.30 exposé, the QLD LNP pledged that they would remove the animal cruelty exemptions that leave these animals unprotected by cruelty laws within their first 100 days in office. Indigenous elders have also expressed their support for this proposal.

We will continue to monitor the situation regarding this commitment and will provide more updates here when further developments arise.