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Native wildlife loses - Coalition and ALP vote against stronger wildlife regulations.

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Senator Andrew Bartlett Australian Democrats’ Environment Spokesperson

16 September 2002 MEDIA RELEASE 02/445

Native Wildlife Loses - Coalition and ALP vote against stronger wildlife regulations The Australian Democrats today moved to disallow Wildlife Regulations tabled by the Government.

The disallowance was defeated by the Coalition and the ALP.

Democrats’ Environment and Animal Welfare spokesperson, Senator Andrew Bartlett, said, “The regulations, which are intended to protect our native wildlife and regulate the trade and use of native species, are totally inadequate.

“The regulations fail to implement best practice welfare standards as promised by Senator Hill. Instead, we have vague and unenforceable standards. We have continuing reliance on inadequate and voluntary codes of practice, despite evidence of their failings,” Senator Bartlett said.

“The recent RSPCA report into the non-commercial slaughter of kangaroos highlighted the failings of both the management and code of practice for the protection of our native macropods.

“The regulations fail to impose assessment provisions on wildlife trade operations that apply for all other activities under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act,” Senator Bartlett said.

“They fail to ensure accountability for wildlife trade operations or transparency. The EPBC sets out world’s best standards for public input and access to materials - those provisions don’t apply to wildlife trade.

“The Australian Democrats are extremely disappointed that a Wildlife Act that can count itself among the best in the world is accompanied by regulations that are ordinary at best,” Senator Bartlett said. “It was revealing that in responding to the disallowance motion the Government indicated that their primary concern was avoiding interruption of the commercial trade in wildlife.”

“We are particularly disappointed that the ALP has accepted such mediocrity. They couldn’t even be bothered to comment on the disallowance motion. They only had to look at the Labor Party’s animal welfare legislation in Queensland to see standards that these regulations should have aspired to.

“Instead, they have decided to continue their policy of being indistinguishable from the Coalition and the Australian people are being saddled with regulations for our native wildlife that are second best,” Senator Bartlett concluded.

For interview: Senator Bartlett on 0418 743 789 or (02) 6277 3406