Please stop the culling of Tasmania Devils! These animals are already in danger of extinction! This will only hasten their disappearance off the face of our planet.
Culling does not effectively control the contagious cancer threatening the Tasmanian devil, researchers of a new study suggests. In fact, cases exists where culling wild animals has made the problem worse.
But despite the study, presently wild Tasmanain devils are being rounded up and those infected are being culled, those not infected are being put in isolation. Devils from a healthy stock will be used to re-populate the area.
Biologists find that 20% of the population is never captured and could be acting as a reservoir for the disease.
Researchers have trapped and euthanised sick animals two to five times a year from an isolated population in the south-east of Tasmania in the past. Each year, the project costs more than $200,000 (£122,000) on programs that do not work. Critics say this money could otherwise be spent on captive breeding programmes and vaccine research.
First seen in 1996, in some areas 90% of the population has been wiped out by highly unusual cancer, - Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) - which is spread by biting during aggressive mating encounters. The disease forms tumours around the mouth interfering with feeding, leading to death.
With 90% of the population gone and the Tasmanian devil so close to extinction, a cull would be a mistake since a cure and/ or a vaccine in a very real possibility.
The Hon Julia Gillard MP
PO Box 6022
House of Representatives
Canberra ACT 2600
Tel: (02) 6277 7700
Fax: (02) 6273 4100