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No plans to cull bats in Redland

Redland City Council will not follow Premier Campbell Newman’s decree to cull the city’s bat colonies.

Mr Newman issued his batty pledge on Wednesday threatening all “lilly-livered” councils he would send in his “bat squad” to remove offending colonies and make councils pay the bill.

Redland City Services general manager Louise Rusan said the state government had not contacted council about any of the city’s 16 bat roosts and council had no plans to remove any colonies.

She said management of bat colonies was a state jurisdiction but council abided by its own operational guidelines, which comply with the Nature Conservation Act 1992.

The city has one permanent roost, which is the largest colony, at Cleveland’s Black Swamp.

It is home to temporary roosts at Birkdale, Tarradarrapin, Russell and Macleay islands and at Meissner Street, Redland Bay.

Redland Bay resident Peter Bidgood, 69, said he was angry the council had not acted before the premier’s decree to get rid of bats from Meissner Street, near his Habitat Drive home.

“I would definitely like to see culling here because for nearly four weeks, when the bats were mating, they made a huge mess, noise and smell in our area,” he said.

“My wife and I are concerned about the health and safety of children in the playground in Fielding Park and we are worried in the light of the Hendra virus.

However, Bat Conservation and Rescue Queensland president Louise Saunders, who lives in Cleveland, said there was no need for the council to take action and waste ratepayers’ money moving the colonies.

She said humans could not contract the Hendra virus from bats, which were not a danger to people if they did not touch them.

“These colonies are not harming anyone, there is no danger to people from bats if people don’t touch them,” Ms Saunders said.

“The colony in Redland Bay has been there for centuries and the one at the Black Swamp has been there since it was moved when Raby Bay was built in the 1980s.

“The premier’s proposal will lead to terrible animal welfare problems and is not the way we should be treating wildlife, including threatened species.”

Redlands Veterinary Clinic's David Lovell, whose practice made headlines in 2008 when his vet, Ben Cuneen, died of Hendra virus, warned people to stay away from bats.

Dr Lovell questioned scientific evidence that humans cannot catch Hendra virus directly from bats.

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Megabats and Microbats: No plans to cull bats in Redland
No plans to cull bats in Redland
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Megabats and Microbats
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