More than thirty animal-related groups, including the International Fund for Animal Welfare and Humane Society International, recently signed a petition opposing Australia’s plans to allow hunting of saltwater crocodiles.
Australia halted saltwater crocodile hunting in 1971 after the population of the species had declined to an estimated 3,000. Today, however, the population is estimated to top 75,000.
According to The Cape Argus, Australia’s Northern Territory has for the past five years issued permits to private land owners to kill up to 600 saltwater crocodiles annually. It now has plans to issue safari permits that would allow 25 of that 600 crocodile quote to be hunted as part of a safari.
Officials in the Northern Territory argue that safari hunters would bring in thousands of dollars in tourist money as compared to the few hundreds of dollars that land owners receive from the meat and skin of each crocodile.
Hands off the salties, say animal lovers. Cape Argus, May 9, 2004.