Bird investigation letter released

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THE letter informing the Derwent Valley Council of the results of Biosecurity Tasmania’s investigation into the killing of birds at New Norfolk last year has now been released.

On Thursday afternoon the council issued a media release stating it had been advised that neither the council nor any of its employees had been found to have breached any legislation in relation to the poisoning of birdlife at Tynwald Park last June. Authorised by acting general manager Brian Barrett, the release quoted two sentences from a letter received by the council.

The full letter, from Biosecurity Tasmania state regulation and enforcement officer Adam Scurrah, was yesterday released to the New Norfolk News. Dated March 4, the letter states it is in relation to an investigation by into alleged offences against the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical (Control of Use) Act 1995 and the Wildlife Regulations 2010.

“As part of the investigation into this matter there was no supporting evidene that employees of the Derwent Valley Council were directly involved in any breaches of the above legislation and as such Biosecurity Tasmania will not be proceeding with any charges against any individual employee or the Derwent Valley Council as a corporation,” Mr Scurrah wrote.

“Substantial evidence of offences against the above legislation has been obtained to support a prosecution against an independent contractor engaged by the council to control geese at Tynwald Park in June 2019.

“This matter will be proceeded with in the Hobart Magistrates Court in due course. Should the matter proceed to a hearing, Derwent Valley Council staff who were interviewed or supplied statutory declarations in relation to this matter may be called as witnesses and will be summonsed as required.

“In future it would be prudent for the Derwent Valley Council to ensure contractors engaged in animal control activities are in receipt of all relevant permits and authorities.”

Biosecurity Tasmania is a division of the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.

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