OZ - Curtains at Curtain Square?

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Fate of pesky possums to be decided
Thursday 24 August 2000

The fate of about 50 Melbourne possums will be decided over the next week after an inner-city council applied for a licence to cull the animals by lethal injection.

The decision the City of Yarra Council, which has outraged animal liberation groups and the RSPCA, involves 50 to 60 possums living in Curtain Square, a park in North Carlton.

Council spokesman Shane Scanlon said the cull was needed to protect the park's elm trees, which were being destroyed by unsustainably high numbers of possums.

Mr Scanlon said that the City of Yarra had been monitoring possum numbers in the park after receiving hundreds of letters complaining about the animals. The number of possums had increased, he said.

'It (Curtain Square) is reputed to be the densest population of possums in the metropolitan area; it's quite a small park and basically they're killing the trees,' he said.

'It's certainly a resort from our point of view. We're caught between a rock and hard place in a way but it's a matter of getting an equilibrium and striking a balance.'

Mr Scanlon said that the rising number of possums was due to people feeding them.

The council applied to the Department of Natural Resources and Environment for a licence to cull the possums.

The department, which has already assessed the park, is expected to respond to the request in the next week.

Honorary RSPCA president Hugh Wirth described the move as a 'kneejerk reaction' that would not solve the problem of growing possum numbers.

'With native animal control you cannot simply deal with a small geographic area in isolation. If you remove possums from Curtain Square as proposed you will create a vacuum,' Dr Wirth said.

'If you take 40 possums out, 40 possums will return.'

He called for a coordinated management program similar to measures already in place in Victoria for kangaroos and koalas to deal with the problem across Melbourne.

'Unless they consider a management program we (the RSPCA) will oppose any lethal treatment of possums or any other animal,' Dr Wirth said.

'I know Curtain Square has a problem and I'm sympathetic to that but you just can't have a kneejerk reaction of 'kill them all' and it will all go away because the problem will not.'


Bro Possum, fearless leader of the antipodean rodent rebellion, expressed disappointment at learning of developing hassles at Curtain Square. He's of the opinion that lethal injection is too kind to apply to humans who seemingly multiply beyond reason. Widely regarded as trainable to bring food for his minions at North Carlton, this turn of events has Bro Possum looking at advancing the subterfuge program. Not long now to the Olympics. "Down with the NWO!!!"

Stay tuned for the next instalment of our 'Rodent Survivor series - We Will Return!'

Viva the Rodent Revolution!

Posted by ever humble scribbler to the Possum Push...


PS Where's that Squirrel Dude? He's conspicuously AWOL

-- Pieter (zaadz@icisp.net.au), August 24, 2000


send in the dingo's

-- al-d. (dogs@zianet.com), August 24, 2000.

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