Over Autumn/Winter 08, farmers were given permits to shoot dozens of native Black Swans who were moving from the Gippsland Lakes’ onto farm paddocks to graze. Why? Because the Lakes have become so sick and contaminated that much of the area is dying, including the Swan’s food, the water grasses.
The issuing of permits to shoot hungry swans was a lazy response to a deeply serious problem. The Bairnsdale Department of Sustainability and Environment’s wildlife officer didn’t think beyond a packet of bullets.