While the federal government is offering more protection to some Australian species due to the impacts of bushfires, Vets for Climate Action is calling on the government to address the cause of those fires by strengthening Australia’s environment law.
With parts of Australia already experiencing bushfires ahead of summer, the federal government has, this week, given 25 species a higher level of protection due to the impact of fires.
But Australia’s environment law does not yet directly address climate change, which is increasing the frequency and severity of bushfires that impact our wildlife and the environments they live in.
Conservation vet Dr Zali Brookes said: “It’s clear that climate change is posing a grave threat to Australian wildlife, with even more species being added to the endangered species list.
“Australia already has the worst mammal extinction rate in the world, and I’m concerned that our record will only get worse if our federal environment laws are not strengthened to protect our precious wildlife from the impacts of climate change.
“In my work, particularly over the past 14 years, including providing a critical response during the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009, I've witnessed the needless suffering and heart-breaking loss of our wildlife due to the effects of climate change, through catastrophic floods, fires and the increased incidence of disease. Along with the destruction of habitat, these events contribute to the precipitous decline in our biodiversity.”
Vets for Climate Action’s acting CEO Steff Goldring said: “Climate change is an animal health and welfare issue: it is the greatest threat to our wildlife and the environments they live in. Vets for Climate Action is extremely concerned about the impact of climate change on the animals we love and care for.
“We are working with the veterinary profession to reduce the impacts of climate change on our animals, but we need the federal government to show that it also cares about our animals by ensuring our national environment law specifically addresses climate change.”
For more information or for interviews, please contact Steff Goldring on [email protected]
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