While most non-profit organisations and indeed, emergency service men and women have been working hard to battle against the flames that have engulfed Australia at large, many of them who have encountered frightened and helpless animals in these very same bush-fires have also taken the time and effort to rescue them from the blaze. After all, that is what any sensible person would do, right?
Unfortunately, the Australian government doesn’t seem to agree on these actions, and in a highly controversial government-issued document known as the The Victorian Response Plan for Wildlife Impacted by Fire, it is stated that rehabilitation efforts are not supported for all animals, according to Yahoo news. Which means, the government has dictated that not all animals should be rescued from the bush-fires.
Instead, what is being suggested is that if any ‘milk dependent joeys aka baby koalas’ are found in fire-zones, they are to be euthanised immediately.
Why, you ask? Well, the government justifies their decision by saying that these animals would require significant long-term care and will never again be able to be released back into the wild. What’s worse is that the document even includes the different methods of euthanasia that can be used, such as lethal injection, blunt force trauma (hitting the animal over the head) and shooting.
Despite the document’s instructions, many emergency service members have willingly gone against guidelines to save these creatures instead. Nikki Medwell, operator of Rex Box Wildlife Shelter in Victoria, says that instead of helping out with the situation, the local government is doing absolutely nothing.
“Overabundant animals like macropods or koalas they don’t deem necessary to rescue.
It doesn’t matter whether they’ve been burnt, if they’re found on the fire ground they’re shot.
So that’s totally healthy, viable wildlife, including koalas which some are saying are on the brink of extinction.” she said.
While many of us are certainly angered by this decision that has been issued by the Australian government, we are happy to see that more people are choosing to save the animals they find, rather than to kill them.
Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to those who are affected by the bush-fires in Australia, and hope that the circumstances will improve soon.
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