A glimmer of hope is starting to appear in the case of the Potts Point cockatoo cull. At my suggestion the City is negotiating with the owners of the building where the cull has been requested to see if they would be amiable to the trial of “shock tape”, an adhesive substance through which a non-lethal electric current is passed that discourages birds from landing. While no conclusion has been reached at the time of writing, the signs are positive.
When my office met with the proponents of the cull and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS – the body ultimately responsible for approving the cull) a few months ago the idea of shock track was dismissed off-hand. The other parties said that it couldn’t be installed on vertical surfaces and that they didn’t want to spend any more money trying to avoid a cull. However following advice from specialist bird controllers about what could be down with shock track, and an in-principle agreement from the City to fund the trial, all parties became much more open to the idea.
I’m grateful to the City for supporting this trial, as well as to NPWS for holding off on granting the culling licence while they await the outcome. The only potential sticking point is the building managers, who have not yet shown their hand on the matter and have made a number of unusual requests of the City before they agree to the trial.
I’m also very grateful for the community support that has been thrown behind this issue – two Potts Point residents opposed to the cull have done a great job of letting locals know what’s happening and have collected over 500 signatures on a petition opposing the cull. They were hoping to present these to state Environment Minister Robyn Parker however she seems decidedly uninterested in the issue and has turned down meeting requests, so I’ll just be sending the petition in on the community’s behalf.
While nothing is finalised yet things are looking up for the possibility that a humane solution will be used. Watch this space for more news!
Edit – the news seems to be getting worse, see this media release I put out on the 31st of August for an update.