Native birds poisoned at Bundaberg’s botanic gardens
The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection is investigating the deliberate poisoning of birds at Bundaberg’s botanic gardens.
Wildlife officers began investigations in September, after several magpie geese were found dead in the gardens.
The department said moorhens, water dragons and eels were also found dead, possibly from ingesting the droppings from poisoned birds.
A department spokesman said toxicity testing has found the animals’ had eaten food laced with the pesticide Fenthion.
“Fenthion was widely used by fruit growers to control fruit fly until it was banned from further use from October 2015 by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority,” he said.
“From October 2015, it has been illegal to possess, use or supply Fenthion products in Australia.”
The department said it was treating the incident as a serious and deliberate act.
It is continuing investigations and working with the Bundaberg Regional Council and Biosecurity Queensland.
“Fenthion was widely used by fruit growers to control fruit fly until it was banned from further use from October 2015 by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines
Poisoned birds die ‘in agony’: RSPCA
The RSPCA said, unfortunately, it sees several cases each year throughout Queensland where it appears birds have been deliberately poisoned.
Spokesman Michael Beatty said it was a disturbing act.
“In most cases those birds die in agony, you know it’s a very painful death,” he said.
He said people caught poisoning animals could be prosecuted under both the Nature Conservation Act, or the Animal Care and Protection Act which the RSPCA looks after.
“It’s hard to comprehend somebody’s mindset who would deliberately set out to do that,” Mr Beatty said.
“I mean it’s just a very sad reflection on us as a whole I guess.”
Queensland’s native wildlife is protected by the Nature Conservation Act 1992 and associated regulations.
Penalties, depending on the conservation status and the number of birds killed, can be as high as $365,700.