Dr Paul Hopwood is from The University of Sydney`s School of Veterinary Science and is an advisor to Commonwealth and State governments on fauna management policy and to community groups on animal activism/animal welfare issues. – “Permission to use firearms at the Belconnen site has been denied because of safety concerns regarding close proximity to residential homes. Therefore, a requirement of the contract was to first dart the animals with a tranquilliser dart-gun and the animals be disposed of after that. In actual fact this is a serious misconception, totally unnecessary, and will put the animals through much more stress than is necessary whilst making the culling exercise itself horrendously expensive.
Those animals can be culled very safely with firearms and the way to do it is to put up scaffolding and construct shooting towers so the marksmen are shooting downwards at the animals, so that their projectiles fall to earth and there is no danger to the surrounding neighbourhood. This method will ensure that the animals are killed very quickly and very humanely. With the method that had been proposed at the moment, it is going to be very expensive using dart guns and it is going to stress the animals more and will achieve nothing in relation to conservation benefit.”