Protect Turtles and Dugongs from "Traditional" Cruelty in Queensland, Australia

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Originally Posted: 7 Sep 2010

Protect Turtles and Dugongs from "Traditional" Cruelty in Queensland, Australia

FROM Animals Australia

Populations of Australian sea turtles are on a fast decline. But currently in Queensland, these animals, along with vulnerable dugongs, can in some circumstances be legally subjected to a slow and torturous death. Help ensure that this cruelty doesn't continue.


Sign an online petition

And/Or make direct contact:

The Honorable Tim Mulherin
Queensland Minister for Primary Industries and Fisheries
PO Box 1238
Mackay Queensland Australia 4740
phone 011-61-4957 8422
fax 011-61-4951 4794


Species of endangered turtles and vulnerable dugongs in far north Queensland have more than dwindling population numbers threatening their survival -- they are also often the victims of a barbaric traditional hunt. Whilst under most circumstances the cruel methods used to hunt and kill these animals would be illegal, exemptions in Queensland's Animal Care and Protection Act has permitted this cruelty to continue unchecked.

Recent footage of a turtle hunt reveals the extent to which the deaths endured by these animals is excruciatingly slow and painful. Once caught, a turtle can be kept alive until meat is required. They may be piled on top of each other, or turned onto their backs for days -- cruelty that often results in death even before the animals are slaughtered. Worse still, they may be butchered while still alive, remaining conscious as their flippers are hacked off and their plastron (underside of the shell) is sliced off.

Dugongs may be harpooned in the back (or in the head if they surface for air). They will then drag the boat in an effort to swim away. It can take several hours for an adult male to tire from this exertion. He may then either be drowned by having his head held underwater, suffocated after having his nostrils plugged, or dragged under the keel of the boat until he dies.

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. With Queensland's Animal Care and Protection Act due for review soon, please ask the Queensland Government to show compassion to all animals in all circumstances by removing the Aboriginal tradition and Island custom exemption from the Act.

Thank you for everything you do for animals!