Wildlife Queensland has renewed its call for a state-wide ban on the use of enclosed yabby traps (opera house nets) in Queensland.
Four Australian states have now implemented a full or phased ban on the use of the enclosed traps. New South Wales became the latest state to get on board this week after announcing the planned phase-out of enclosed yabby traps in New South Wales from 30 April 2021.
“In Queensland (and other states) platypuses and other air-breathing animals are being caught and drowning horrible deaths in ‘set and forget’ enclosed yabby traps, such as opera house nets,” says ecologist and Wildlife Queensland PlatypusWatch Project Officer, Tamielle Brunt.
“The preventable drowning deaths of these animals is a serious animal welfare issue and a significant conservation issue, as they can cause potential local extinction events.
“We need to put pressure on the Queensland Government to follow the lead of New South Wales and other states and ban these death traps in all Queensland public waters,” says Brunt.
It’s Time for Queensland to Step Up and Act Now!
Wildlife Queensland has campaigned for a ban on opera house-style traps and funnel traps in Queensland since 2009. In 2014, after years of advocating for change, the government of the day took action and amended regulations, significantly reducing the size of the entrance hole of traps being used east of the Great Dividing Range and east of the Gore Highway.
While this action was a small step in the right direction, platypuses and other non-targeted air-breathing native fauna continue to be caught and drown in these traps.
“Perhaps if there were strong and robust compliance and enforcement programs in place, things may be different, but that is not the case,” says Wildlife Queensland Policies & Campaigns Manager, Des Boyland.
“Opera house traps must go! Queensland must follow New South Wales, ACT, Tasmania and Victoria and ban the use of opera house traps in all public waters.
“There are alternative open-top yabby nets on the market that will capture just as many yabbies without the risk of drowning platypuses and other air-breathing wildlife.”
How You Can Help
Wildlife Queensland is urging the community to get involved and support a change in legislation/regulation to ban the use of enclosed yabby traps in Queensland.
“We urge members of the community to support our campaign by emailing Hon. Mark Furner MP, Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities, and Hon. Meaghan Scanlon MP, Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Youth Affairs, expressing your support for a ban,” says Des Boyland.
“Together, we can help stop the inhumane treatment and unnecessary deaths of vulnerable native wildlife that occur via the use of enclosed yabby traps in Queensland.”
Further details and an email template to follow are available here.
Related Articles and Information
- Urgent protection needed for Queensland’s threatened platypus populations
- Opera house traps have to go
- Happy Platypus flyer (pdf)
- Wildlife Queensland’s PlatypusWatch program
Authorised by Des Boyland, Secretary, Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland, Suite 1, Level 1, 30 Gladstone Road, Highgate Hill, Brisbane, Qld 4101.