The Australian government has shot down big-game hunters’ chances to bag a ‘croc’ in the Northern Territory.
The Northern Territory had filed an application to allow the harvest (killing) of 50 crocodiles on a one-year trial basis. Those in favor of the plan argued that ‘big-spending trophy hunters’ would provide economic benefits to the territory and according to The Australian would bring in big bucks.
It was suggested that crocodile safari packages could cost between $20,000 to $50,000, appealing to high-end hunters from around the world seeking to bag themselves a crocodile.
The Environment Minister Greg Hunt told The West Australian Thursday that the government had considered trophy hunts but didn’t think they were appropriate. “My view is that there was a risk of cruel and inhumane treatment. That was, in my view, inappropriate,” he said.
The government already has in place a ‘crocodile management plan’ in the Northern Territory that allows for the culling of up to 500 saltwater crocodiles in the wild each year in an effort to keep down their growing numbers. Crocodiles were declared a protected species in 1971 and have become much more common there.
Swift and angry condemnation of the government decision came from members of the Northern Territory government said the News.com.au Web site. The Northern Territory’s Minister for Land Resource Management, Willem Westra van Holthe said, “Canberra needs to take its foot off the Territory’s throat.”
And if the Northern Territory government legislates a way to make crocodile safaris happen, foreign hunters could find they can’t take their trophy carcasses out of the country without a federal permit.