Saturday, 23 April 2011

Property rights for native animals?

Australian native animals could be given property rights to protect their habitats under a radical plan.

University of Western Sydney academic John Hadley, who is at the forefront of a global push to give animals property rights, believes farmers should be forced to negotiate with the legal guardians of Australia's native animals before clearing their land.

"Under an animal guardianship system, landholders who want to modify habitat on their land would have to negotiate with a guardian acting on behalf of a designated group of animals," Dr Hadley said in his article on a new academic website The Conversation.

"Ideally, guardians would be registered with an independent tribunal and be qualified to make environmentally and ethically-informed decisions."

National Farmers' Federation president Jock Laurie said the proposal had to be treated seriously.

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