17th April 2012 4:00 AM
CONSERVATIONISTS say they are alarmed and disappointed at the new LNP government's announcement it will overturn the banning of controversial damage mitigation permits, once again allowing farmers to shoot flying foxes.
Natural resources minister Andrew Cripps said the government would grant permits to farmers who had not succeeded with other methods to protect their crops.
While farmers have welcomed the decision, Queensland Conservation Council spokeswoman Dr Carol Booth said the announcement was disappointing.
"The decision is deeply concerning and it is a backward step to primitive farming methods," Dr Booth said.
"The shooting was banned in 2008 after it was assessed to be inhumane - and it is still inhumane.
"The evidence suggests that, due to the nature of ballistics, a large portion of flying foxes die a slow death as a result."
Dr Booth said farmers' arguments they would only shoot a small number of scouts was baseless because there was no biological evidence to suggest that scout bats even existed.
"Farmers support this idea because it's in their best interest," she said.
"There is no solid basis to back up the idea of scouts."
Farmers claim scouts seek out food sources before alerting the rest of the colony.