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End the killing of corellas by the City of Rockingham

Date: 27 April 2022

The Animal Justice Party WA (AJP) calls on the City of Rockingham to end its killing of corellas immediately, and to invest in a more nuanced program of non-lethal methods for the management of corellas in the region.

The City of Rockingham’s current method for managing the impact of corellas, whereby the birds are lured to modified wheelie bins, trapped and killed, is cruel and unnecessary. Further, the City has provided no evidence regarding the effectiveness of its lethal methods to reduce the impact of the birds.

The AJP acknowledges that the City has trialled non-lethal methods previously, claiming these to “have only ever provided very short-term effectiveness”. The AJP notes however that the short-term effectiveness of non-lethal methods employed by the City is the result of the birds’ intelligence and ability to learn, and that non-lethal methods need to be carefully monitored and constantly varied to ensure their effectiveness.

A comprehensive and carefully planned non-lethal management strategy for corellas will require an investment by the City, but the AJP believes that such investment is warranted, not only for the protection of the birds themselves, but for the peace of mind of the City’s residents, and for the City’s broader public image. As the City states on its website, the culling of any wildlife “is potentially distressing to some people”. The AJP believes that the City’s killing of corellas is not only patently distressing to a significant number of people, but also tarnishes the City’s public image both within and beyond its borders, jeopardising its social licence to manage animal welfare and the environment.

The AJP acknowledges that the two species of corellas targeted by the City – the little corella and the Eastern long-billed corella – are not endemic to the area. The management of introduced species is a complex issue, however the AJP urges the City to ensure that any methods used to control the birds or to mitigate their damage are non-lethal and humane.

The AJP also encourages the City to consider becoming a leader in the non-lethal management of corellas and similar species by collaborating with existing bird welfare organisations and investing in scientific studies to develop new non-lethal and humane control methods. Proactive involvement of this type has the potential to turn a “problem” into a positive for the City of Rockingham, resulting in welcome media coverage as other municipalities turn to the City for its advice and expertise.

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