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Australia mulls crocodile safari hunting plan

Australia mulls crocodile safari hunting plan

Australia mulls crocodile safari hunting plan

Updated 14 June 2012, 14:42 AEST

The Australian Government is considering allowing a trial of safari hunting of saltwater crocodiles in the Northern Territory.

Under the plan, 50 crocodiles could be hunted for trophies over a two-year period.

The Northern Territory Government has been lobbying the federal government for almost 11 years to allow trophy hunting of saltwater crocodiles.

Chief Minister Paul Henderson says safari hunting of the animals would create Indigenous jobs, with more than 70 per cent of crocodile habitat being on Aboriginal-held lands.

He says there is an abundance of crocodiles in the Territory, and safari hunting would be a much needed boost to the ailing tourism industry.

"Come to the Territory and bag a croc," Mr Henderson said.

"If that is what people want to do and they are prepared to pay for it, I am all for it."

Crocodile scientist, Professor Grahame Webb supports the plan, saying crocodiles should be an economic asset not a liability.

"It adds to the value that crocodiles produce, and adds to the incentive to conserve them," he said.

The Territory already has an annual sustainable harvest quota of 500 adult saltwater crocodiles under an existing management program.