The Parliament of South Australia today passed a Greens Bill that will ensure burying wombats alive in their burrows is explicitly illegal. The Bill once enacted will enable the Minister to Gazette Wombat Protection Zones to provide greater protections than currently exist.
The legislation was spurred by calls from the Wombat Awareness Organisation whose petition on Change.org has garnered over 50,000 signatures.
Quotes attributable to Tammy Franks MLC:
“While wombats are a protected species in South Australia and can only be killed under certain circumstances and with an approved permit far too often we have heard reports of wombats buried alive but their deaths not properly investigated as they are literally entombed underground.”
“Often during farming or construction work they can be seen as a nuisance, in particular because of their burrows, so those burrows are filled in, sometimes quite deliberately, with the wombats still inside. These wombats are then doomed to die a slow and horrible death.”
“People who are responsible for such horrific killing of wombats need to be brought to justice. We must ensure that we have the right tools to properly prosecute those who break our laws and the laws must be explicit in condemning and preventing animal cruelty.”
“We have acted on the calls that have been made for some years by the community, and in particular the calls of the Wombat Awareness Organisation and made burying wombats alive and destroying their burrows explicitly illegal.”
“Wombat burrows are sometimes seen as a nuisance by landowners, but this is in no way, shape or form an appropriate response to a perceived nuisance. Wombats are iconic native animals, and this cruelty is unwarranted and unacceptable.”