LAST UPDATED: 19 August 2015
Deep in the heart of one of Tasmania's beautiful forests, a brushtail possum and her baby make their careful way along a eucalyptus branch. If they were in any other state they'd be protected under native wildlife regulations — but in Tasmania they're locked in the sights of a hunter who has stalked them through the trees. A shot rings out in the dark. Unless they manage to miraculously escape, one of three things will happen next...
In all three of these scenarios the fate of her joey is grim indeed. With 'harvesting' in Tasmania allowable all year round, female possums can be killed during peak breeding seasons when it's highly likely they have dependent young.
Joeys who are able to run away when their mothers are shot will then be left to face the bush alone — and will almost certainly fall victim to predators, exposure, or starvation.
Tragically, the fate of newborn and very young joeys is even more grim. According to the government rulebook, hunters are advised to decapitate or bludgeon to death orphaned joeys who are captured 'in pouch' after their mothers are killed.
With regulations like these, who needs enemies? Every year, thousands of Tasmania's possums are subjected to appalling cruelty, in isolated hunting grounds far from public sight — and scrutiny.
You can help give Tasmania's possums a chance at a kinder future.
- Shop compassionately. Many people don't know that our brushtail possums are being slaughtered to harvest their fur for accessories like gloves and scarves. By pledging never to buy or wear possum fur you can do your bit to spare these beautiful native animals a cruel death.
- Get hands on. Learn what it takes to be a wildlife carer — and why it's so rewarding.
- Spread the word. Let your friends and family known about the plight of Tasmania's possums, and urge them to never buy, wear or eat any possum 'products'.