Wildlife Queensland escalates campaign to ban lethal yabby traps


29 April 2024

Wildlife Queensland has increased its push to ban opera house-style and funnel traps throughout Queensland. Despite past efforts to limit their use, these traps still pose a grave threat to air-breathing aquatic wildlife, resulting in avoidable deaths.

Enclosed yabby traps still not banned in Queensland

Enclosed traps designed to catch yabbies inadvertently ensnare platypuses and other aquatic species, like rakali, water dragons, turtles and fish, leading to their agonising deaths by drowning.

These preventable deaths of air-breathing animals represent a serious animal welfare and conservation issue and have the potential to trigger local extinction events.

While other Australian states have taken steps to ban these lethal traps, Queensland remains the exception, continuing to allow their use in freshwater dams and waterways.

Wildlife Queensland insists on urgent action to follow the lead of other states and implement a comprehensive ban on the sale, possession and use of enclosed yabby traps in all Queensland public waters.

Wildlife Queensland steps up to create change

To escalate this campaign, Wildlife Queensland:

1. Launches a NEW petition, “Ban Enclosed Yabby Nets in Queensland Now!”
The petition urges the Hon Mark Furner MP, Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, and the Hon Leanne Linard MP, Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, to take immediate action to protect Queensland’s precious wildlife by implementing these necessary bans.

Sign our new petition today calling for urgent action to ban enclosed yabby nets and replace them with wildlife-friendly alternatives to prevent further suffering and loss of life.

2. Recommends responding to the Fisheries Queensland Survey — closing soon.
Fisheries Queensland is currently seeking public feedback on proposed recreational fishing reforms, which include the potential ban of opera house nets (enclosed yabby traps).

Express your support for a ban on opera house nets in Queensland today. Submissions for feedback will be accepted until 5:00 pm on 9 May 2024.

3. Engaged Neil Andison as our PlatypusWatch community officer to liaise with politicians, retailers and the public.
Wildlife Queensland’s PlatypusWatch welcomes Neil Andison as our platypus community officer.

Formerly a truck driver, Neil’s life took a transformative turn when a chance encounter with a platypus altered his path forever. Also known as the platypus whisperer, Neil resides in Maleny, a hub for platypus activity, where he takes people on guided nature walks.

Since starting his position a couple of weeks ago, Neil has hit the ground running and has already contacted 99 members of parliament, educating them about lethal enclosed yabby nets. As he awaits their responses, he is preparing to send personalised emails to the standing members of all electorates within the recognised platypus distribution boundaries.

Moreover, Neil aims to foster connections with recreational fishing communities, advocating for the coexistence of conservation efforts and safe fishing practices. He seeks to understand concerns and explore mutually beneficial solutions to bridge the gap between animal welfare and wildlife conservation with recreational pursuits.

“I see this as an incredible opportunity to be part of a team of dedicated staff involved in the campaign to ban the Opera House style Yabby nets in Queensland. To achieve this and assist in reclassifying Platypus from ‘animal of least concern’ to at least ‘near threatened’ would certainly be a highlight of my life,” said Wildlife Queensland Platypus Community Officer Neil Andison.

In the ongoing effort to protect Queensland’s waterways and wildlife, Wildlife Queensland will not give up advocating for a ban on enclosed yabby traps. We hope to soon achieve a total ban on these harmful nets.

Together, we will make it happen.

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