Horrible Video Puts Indigenous Hunting Under Scrutiny in Australia (Video)

The rights of ‘traditional owners’ to hunt protected species is being scrutinized in Australia after horrific video of killings emerged.

The video shows sea turtles and dugongs being butchered alive and others left tethered for days without shade or water.

The footage shown on ABC Australia (watch below) also said that meat gathered by some indigenous communities in the Torres Strait islands, off North Queensland, was being sold on the black market. Traditional owners have the right to harvest turtle and dugong and share the meat and eggs with their families on the mainland. There are claims that rangers employed to police hunting were engaged in this trade.

Under the 1993 Native Title Act, indigenous Australians have the right to hunt protected species for their own subsistence and ceremonial purposes. However, they are limited to hunting in their own country and it must not be for commercial gain.

However, John Kris, the chairman of the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA), told The Australian that the TV report was emotive and unbalanced and failed to mention the efforts made by local indigenous communities to sustainably manage traditional hunting and to find more humane ways of processing the meat.

“We have been seeking solutions, but the experts simply can’t agree on acceptable procedures,” Kris said. “People also have to appreciate, as in other seafarer cultures, meat has been processed this way for thousands of years.”

The hunting has become an issue in the current election campaign in the state of Queensland.

“It’s unfortunate that good and innovative work done by indigenous communities has been overshadowed by emotive and unbalanced coverage clearly scheduled to gain political leverage during the Queensland election campaign,” Kris said.

Others have pointed out that the hunting is not the cause of a decline in the dugong population. Instead, the damage done to seagrass beds by a major cyclone as well as huge flooding and increased sea traffic and pollution due to the Queensland mining boom are to blame. Some indigenous communities have suspended taking dugong because of the impact of the natural disasters.

The rights of indigenous communities to hunting has come under fire elsewhere, such as a current controversy over a license for a Native American tribe to kill two bald eagles and hunting of polar bears by Inuit.

The Queensland government has promised an inquiry.

Watch ABC Australia report. Warning: it contains disturbing images.

Related stories:

Native American Tribe Gets Rare Permit to Kill Bald Eagles

Time to Stop Canada’s Polar Bear Hunt

Eating Our Cousins: Jane Goodall And The Bushmeat Crisis

Photo from Timmmmmmm via flickr


John Doe
james rico4 years ago

yes he did try to misrepresent what i said though very poorly at that which anyone could see. as i told adam. i don/t care that they hunt game for the meat. i just don/t think they should slaughter these turtles at all. and especaly in the manner they are doing it. even teaching a child that this is accepable. no one can imagine the terror that turtle felt by just putting him on his back. in nature that often means death in itself either from the hot sun lack of water or preditors.and for adam to call that a hunt is a long stretch to say the least. plus that was interfering with the normal life cycle of these turtles since they must come on to land once in while. and allthough turtles are the smartest of the reptiles they still have a primitive mind and nervius system. which make them very varnorable to this type of cruel treatment.even when asked adam does not give his personal views. but makes it seem like we are going against their culture.he thinks because its been going on for so long it should still do so. according to adams thinking why have anti cruelty laws at all or that they should not apply to native people

Matt L.4 years ago

I don't know LD, he seems pretty civil for the most part,
especially before you and a couple others call him a troll.
I see no evidence he is trying to start arguments for entertainment.
There are some insults exchanged by both sides in this thread.
Food, cultural beliefs and animal rights all can provoke some
pretty strong opinions and emotions. That video is pretty sickening
too, and not just for the animal cruelty.

Carol Harnwell
Carol Harnwell4 years ago

Heated debate! Hope the Aussie government gets moving on this one and the poaching for monetary gains is stopped.

Matt L.4 years ago

From Wikipedia:

The triad links animal cruelty, obsession with fire setting, and persistent bedwetting past the age of five to violent behaviors, particularly homicidal behavior.[2] However, other studies have not found statistically significant links between the triad and violent offenders. Nevertheless, some serial killers exhibited at least some of these behaviors during childhood. For example, contract killer Richard Kuklinski, serial killer Dennis Rader, and serial killer Gary Ridgway all engaged in acts of animal cruelty.[3][4]

Further studies have suggested that these behaviors are often the product of parental neglect, cruelty or trauma, and that such events in a person's childhood can result in "homicidal proneness".[5] However, the 'triad' concept as a particular combination of behaviors may not have any particular validity - it has been called an urban legend.[6]

Matt L.4 years ago

LD B. I did scroll down and read Adams earliest comments. He mostly seemed to be arguing that we should not judge an indigenous culture or hunters based on one video. The first time I see him "attack" is when Lisa M. says "Those sinister people do not need to be educated, they need to be eradicated. They are pure evil."

So Adam says "Your white pillowcase is showing". That actually seems pretty mild response to someone saying aborigines should be eradicated because they are "pure evil".

Matt L.4 years ago

lol, LD B. they are common tactics in just about any online debate in blog comment sections. Again just because Adam disagrees with you does not make him a troll. Both indigenous rights and animal rights evoke strong emotions and opinions. Adam defending indigenous rights and meat eating does not make him a troll just because you disagree.

Matt L.4 years ago

Abusive ad hominem (also called personal abuse or personal attacks) usually involves insulting or belittling one's opponent in order to attack his claim or invalidate his argument, but can also involve pointing out true character flaws or actions that are irrelevant to the opponent's argument. This tactic is logically fallacious because insults and negative facts about the opponent's personal character have nothing to do with the logical merits of the opponent's arguments or assertions. However, verbal abuse in the absence of an argument is neither ad hominem nor a fallacy.

A straw man is a component of an argument and is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the "straw man"), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.

Matt L.4 years ago

Yuck, people should kill the animals they eat quickly and humanely. Though this video has a rather noticeable lack of opinions from actual indigenous people. As many commenters have pointed out one video does NOT represent all indigenous people in the area.

John D. and LD B. just because someone doesn't agree with you doesn't make them a troll. Some lobsters can live as long as 100 years, and plenty of people in many countries happily munch on them.

John Doe
james rico4 years ago

colleen p. you are a joke hideing behined that silly made up face you are also a troll

mary l.
mary l.4 years ago

That is disgusting. These people are animals, cruel and callous.