Shark cull: government in ‘clear breach’ of international obligations
Original story at theguardian.com • 2 mentions • 3 weeks ago
theguardian.com 3 weeks ago
The Australian government is in clear breach of its international obligations by allowing the Western Australian shark cull, a conservation group has claimed, ahead of global protests against the policy.Humane Society International said advice it had received from the United Nations showed that Australia was breaching the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals by allowing the cull.HSI claimed that the convention’s executive secretary wrote to Greg Hunt, the environment minister, in December about the policy but that Hunt had waited until 31 January to respond. Hunt’s office has been contacted to verify this.According to the conservation group, advice it received from Melanie Virtue, from the convention secretariat, states: “The convention prohibits the taking of such species except under ‘extraordinary circumstances’,” and that “the ‘extraordinary circumstances’ clause in paragraph 5d of Article III of the convention has not been invoked by a CMS party, to the best of my knowledge”.HSI, which has lodged a formal complaint with the UN about the cull, said Hunt should work with the convention secretariat to consult international experts on the policy.“The legal and scientific advice is clear, the ‘extraordinary circumstance’ provisions under both the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, 1999, which Mr Hunt has already utilised, and CMS, cannot be applied to WA’s shark culling program,” said Michael Kennedy, HSI’s campaign director.