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Tasmanian Upper Residence MP alleges proof of foxes in state fabricated

Posted December 10, 2015 20:33:12

An Upper House MP is set to make a complaint to Tasmania’s police commissioner alleging evidence of foxes in the state has been fabricated.

Ivan Dean is claiming fox carcasses and other physical proof was planted, and tens-of-millions of dollars was wasted on the fox eradication system.

“It is up to somebody to take this matter forward … I am now going to take the matter to the police division and to the commissioner Darren Hine,” Mr Dean said.

The former Labor government spent about $ 50 million of state and federal funds on a taskforce to eradicate foxes in Tasmania.

Mr Dean has alleged the proof relied upon to continue that taskforce was faked.

“If you look at each and every piece of physical evidence that’s been produced more than the final fourteen years you will find it all falls apart, it really is all questionable,” he mentioned.

“I will be referring to all of the carcasses that have been created … the skull will be referenced as effectively, the scats are also extremely essential to this entire point as effectively.”

Two recent independent scientific reports utilising government information found it was most likely evidence of fox scats and carcasses could have been planted.

I will be referring to all of the carcasses that have been created…the skull with be reference as properly, the scats are also really vital to this entire point.

MLA Ivan Dean

A skull, fox DNA blood, and 4 fox carcasses located amongst 2001 and 2006 have been incorporated as evidence of foxes in the state.

Veterinary pathologist David Obendorf is one of a group of independent scientists who has written reports and published journal articles disputing the veracity of fox evidence, like scats and all 4 carcasses.

“Our reports have contested the credibility of the proof of those carcasses being from Tasmania, really animals that lived in Tasmania and died in Tasmania,” he mentioned.

An instance of an alleged discrepancy was located right after Mr Obendorf reviewed pathology reports and the histology for a fox identified in 2006.

“The claim was that this was a freshly dead fox that had been killed at 9:30 on the morning of August 1 but once I had seen the slides that had been reduce from this animal … I could see the body had putrefied, it decomposed so swiftly with the invasion of bacteria,” he stated.

“The animal was breaking down and this breakdown approach could not have occurred in the period of time in between when they claim the animal was identified and when they did the autopsy.”

Veterinary pathologist David Obendorf Photo: Veterinary pathologist David Obendorf says scientific reports have cast doubts on the credibility of fox proof. (ABC News: Alexandra Bulcher)

Mr Dean has seized on the reports to back up his complaint.

“The position I have is if there is corruption, unlawful behaviour, we’ve got to bring that out … It really is got to be investigated in my opinion, to bring it to an end,” he mentioned.

But he has not speculated on what laws may have been broken.

“In the report that I will be submitting to the Commissioner of Police, I will providing names of persons that I have, that have been connected with, specific pieces of evidence that have been developed,” he said.

Both main political parties have been criticised for not investigating the claims.

The Major Industries Minister Jeremy Rockliff stated his Government had “abolished Labor’s fox program, which spent millions chasing just a single species”.

“Scientific opinion is for the scientific neighborhood to debate,” Mr Rockliff mentioned.

“Individuals are totally free to make complaints to police or the Integrity Commission if they so wish,” he said.

The Labor Opposition has been contacted for comment.

Topics: law-crime-and-justice, pests, pest-management, tas

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