At a time in history when our wildlife needs us to protect them more than ever, South Australian authorities have allegedly approved the slaughter of 200 ‘pest’ wombats by a Yorke Peninsula farmer, sending shock waves right across the community.
Traditional Owner Quenten Agius raised the alarm on Friday after learning a farmer leasing the farmland from Aboriginal Lands Trust plans to kill 200 endangered hairy-nosed wombats living in a major breeding colony.
Mr Agius says local South Australian authorities have approved the ‘extermination’ of the wombats over claims they were damaging the farmer’s equipment when he runs them over.
Mr Argiss is calling on the Yorke Peninsula District Council, Aboriginal Lands Trust, The Department of Water and Environment, and Fraser Ellis MP to revoke the decision.
According to the Aborginal Elder, 12 wombats were illegally shot in the area recently by the same farmer.
‘The brutality has disgusted our community. The community has not been consulted so I am speaking out as a Traditional Owner for those with no voice, and the community residents.
‘We are connected to these animals, they feature in our cultural knowledge of evolution. Like us, these animals have lived on the land for thousands of years and we need everyone’s help to protect them from genocide. It must be stopped before it happens.’
He estimates just 640 hairy-nosed wombats are left on the Yorke Peninsula and that wiping out 200 from the Point Pearce breeding grounds would put the local colony on the verge of extinction.
‘If hundreds of wombats are massacred, our children may never get the chance to see a wild living wombat. It makes me ill to think these wombats are going to be slaughtered.’