Tuesday, September 27, 2005
End to 'exotic species' Down Under
Australians are facing a gruesome quandary - they will have to kill millions of "exotic" non-native animals or allow those animals to destroy Australia's unique native species.

Millions of animals -- from camels to cane toads, horses and foxes -- face extermination in Australia under recommendations by a parliamentary committee.

A population explosion of species introduced to this isolated continent since European settlement began more than 200 years ago is a growing threat to agriculture and native wildlife, the committee of inquiry has found.

"The exotic species need to be eradicated," committee chairman Alby Schultz told AFP. "That's the first point I make."

Shooting and poisoning would be among methods recommended by the committee, which has been investigating the problem for more than a year and will present its report to parliament by early November, he said.

The Department of the Environment lists animals of "significant concern" as including feral camels (500,000), horses (300,000), donkeys (five million), pigs (up to 23 million), cane toads, European wild rabbits, European red foxes, cats and goats.
posted at 9/27/2005 10:03:00 AM | comments (0) | permalink

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