IN THE NEWS: Territory renews push for safari crocodile hunts


IN THE NEWS: On JUN 14, 2012

The Northern Territory Government has renewed its push to allow the safari hunting of saltwater crocodiles.

It is calling for public comment on a plan to trial safari hunts in the Top End.

The Federal Government rejected a previous plan but has said it would revisit the issue.

Chief Minister Paul Henderson says safari hunting of the animals would create Indigenous jobs, with more than 70 per cent of crocodile habitat being on Aboriginal-held lands.

For almost 11 years, the Territory Government has been lobbying the Commonwealth to allow trophy hunting of saltwater crocodiles.

Mr Henderson says the Commonwealth has agreed to amend the crocodile management plan for the Territory to include a trial of trophy hunting for saltwater crocodiles for two years, allowing up to 50 animals to be killed.

He says there is an abundance of crocodiles in the Territory, and safari hunting would be a much needed boost to the ailing tourism industry.

The amended plan is open for public comment until July 25.

The Chief Minister hopes a decision on the trial will be made by the end of the year.

The Federal Government says it will consider opposing views among Aboriginal people about the hunting of crocodiles in the Territory.

Some traditional owners says hunting would provide economic opportunities but others are opposed to the move for cultural reasons.

Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke says he will wait for the consultation process to take its course.

"It is something that will eventually come to me," he said.

"There are different views among different traditional owners on this and I really want to make sure I get the opportunity to hear those different views."

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