For Immediate Release:
14 May 2018
Inhumane ‘Set-and-Forget’ Devices Suspected to Have Killed Hundreds of Near- Threatened Platypuses in Last 12 Months
Melbourne – After campaigning by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Victorian Alliance for Platypus-Safe Yabby Traps, the Victorian Government announced today that it’ll outlaw yabby, or “opera house”, traps by 2019.
In the past year, 14 platypuses have been found dead after having drowned in such traps in Victoria’s public waters. It’s estimated that several hundred others have died and remain unfound because of the “set-and-forget” nature of the devices.
“We commend the Victorian Government on doing the right thing for platypuses and other wildlife by outlawing these cruel traps,” says PETA spokesperson Emily Rice. “It’s widely recognised that yabby traps cause animals an agonising death by drowning. And when mothers are caught, their young are left to starve to death, wiping out entire families.”
Leaving yabby traps in public waters is illegal in Victoria, and last December, PETA offered a reward of $5,000 for information leading to the identification and conviction of anyone responsible for leaving such traps unmonitored. When the new reforms come into force, all use of these devices will be illegal.
PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – notes that all fishing nets are indiscriminate killers. Enclosed yabby traps are known to attract and ensnare unintended victims, including rakali (water rats), freshwater turtles, and aquatic birds.
For more information, please visit PETA.org.au.