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Senate calls for science to prevail in shark cull debate

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 8 Jul 2014

The Senate has today supported an Australian Greens motion noting the letter of concern from 305 scientists about the cruel WA shark cull and calling on the Federal Government to reject the proposal.

"My motion acknowledges the contribution of the 305 scientists and experts who signed a Letter of Expert Concern showing that there is no justification for Colin Barnett's government to continue this cull," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens marine spokesperson said today.

"The Senate has noted this important, scientific contribution to the shark cull debate and has called on the Federal Government to reject the continuation of this barbaric policy.

"This is a vote of support for those scientists speaking out against this unjustifiable and indiscriminate attack on our environment, which will see more than 900 sharks killed in the next three years.

"The Expert Letter demonstrates that there is no evidence that the cull will make beaches safer, and highlights the potentially significant environmental impact of removing apex predators from the marine environment.

"What this letter shows is that there are better, non-lethal options to mitigate any risk of shark attack, options that are being used in countries like Brazil and South Africa, but Colin Barnett is ignoring this approach.

"This is a significant contribution to the WA EPA's assessment of the cull, and it must be given full consideration. 

"Once the EPA assessment is complete, the decision as to whether or not the cull can proceed lies with Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt.

"Minister Hunt cannot ignore the clear fact that there is no evidence to justify this cull. He has an obligation to protect vulnerable and threatened species and our marine life, and he should meet this responsibility and reject the cull," Senator Siewert concluded.

319 Senator Siewert: To move-That the Senate- 
(a) notes that 305 senior scientists and experts have submitted their concerns about the shark cull to the Environment Protection Authority in a Letter of Expert Concern which clearly demonstrates the lack of any scientific basis for the Western Australian shark cull; and 
(b) calls on the Federal Government to reject the Western Australian shark cull.

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