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.