LETTERS 7.7.18

No sacred cow
THANK you for your article on the vaccination billboard poster in Northbridge (“AMA slams billboard,” Herald, June 16, 2018).
Despite the writer being evidently ‘pro-vaxxer’ it still highlights the need for us as individuals to be aware of our own responsibilities in regard to our ongoing health and the right to research and decide what medical interventions we accept for ourselves.
I am very grateful for the technology and medical assistance available to us today but we still need to be mindful that not all medical interventions are necessary and some are damaging.
Vaccination is not compulsory in Australia – no school is legally allowed to discriminate against a child because of their vaccination status, and if they do try, you can make a human rights complaint against them.
Democracy and human rights took a dive when the No Jab No Pay laws came into force in 2016 and the Australian government can now withhold child care rebate and all child care benefits.
The studies of MMR and autism by Dr Andrew Wakefield did cause skepticism as does scientist, Dr William Thompson’s confession in 2013 that revealed the appalling cover-up committed by the US government agency charged with protecting the health of American citizens.
The documentary Vaxxed: From Coverup to Catastrophe is available from shop.avn.org.au and examines the evidence that they had omitted crucial data in their final report of 2004 about a causal relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism.
There are no sacred cows – vaccines should be questioned like everything else.
The AMA position statement “Conscientous Objection 2013” states that a doctor is able to refuse to apply treatments and still be respected for their views, and apparently so does the patient. This is ironic when you look at Dr Khorshid’s statements.
Anneli Salo
Conrad court, Spearwood

Zoos save
I WRITE in response to Desmond Bellamy’s letter, “It’s time to shut down the zoos” regarding the passing of Perth Zoo’s beloved aged orangutan, Puan (Herald Letters, June 30, 2018).
It is sad that PETA has used the death of a loved zoo animal to denigrate a modern zoo like Perth Zoo, which is committed to conservation.
Saving Wildlife is not just Perth Zoo’s brand, it’s what we do, every day of the year.
Increasingly the role of zoos extends beyond the gates and into the wild.
The Living Planet Index reveals we could lose two-thirds of the planet’s wild animals by 2020, and a 2010 study by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature found that conservation breeding in zoos and aquariums played a role in the recovery of 28 per cent of the species listed as threatened in the wild.
Perth Zoo breeding programs have been responsible for bringing animals back from the brink of extinction including local amphibians, numbats, the western swamp tortoise (Australia’s rarest reptile), and the chuditch, which has improved its conservation status thanks to the zoo’s breed for release efforts.
Perth Zoo is very proud to have recently released its 4000th zoo-bred animal back into native habitat, helping to rebuild struggling wild populations.
In Puan’s case, three of her descendants were released to the wild within a protected area of Sumatra, where Perth Zoo also funds a rehabilitation program for ex-pet and trafficked orangutans, giving them a second chance at a wild life.
In the same region we financially contribute to anti-poaching patrols and community education programs. It’s a 360 degree conservation approach.
Perth Zoo has contributed more than $2.8 million over the past seven years to projects outside of the zoo.
We fund anti-snaring teams to protect African painted dogs, empower Zambian children to become wildlife ambassadors, and provide Papua New Guinean villagers with alternate livelihoods to reduce hunting of tree kangaroos.
We work with TRAFFIC, the international wildlife trade monitoring network, to gain intelligence on sophisticated wildlife poachers, we fund researchers on Komodo Island to learn more about the world’s biggest land lizard, and we’re helping gibbons out-swing extinction, funding wildlife patrol units in Pu Mat National Park in Vietnam.
Within Australia, Perth Zoo’s Wildlife Conservation Action fundraising program has helped build the predator-proof fence at Mt Gibson Sanctuary, Australia’s second largest feral cat-free area.
When you donate to Perth Zoo, you are directly helping animals in the wild.
Surpassing the life expectancy of her species and earning a Guinness Book of Record for being the oldest verified living Sumatran orangutan in the world, Puan led a full and healthy life, with a team of experts dedicated to her care.
Her contribution to her species was unparalleled.
We are in the midst of a global extinction crisis.
Perth Zoo may be one of the most isolated in the world, but we have a big agenda, saving wildlife.
Come and visit us to help save wildlife together.
Wendy Attenborough
Executive director
Perth Zoo, South Perth

Port vandals
FOR some years the environment at Port Beach has been stressed.
Authorities have done nothing to attempt to stop and correct the environmental disaster occurring on their watch. The appearance of heavy black matter on previously white sands has also been more obvious in recent years.
Some say it is carbon from tyres and diesel fuel dispatched by the never-ending charge of vehicles moving sea containers.
Maybe it’s carbon from ships that now and then vomit black soot clouds into the sky too?
Now due to environmental vandalism yesterday we have some proof!
Main Roads pumping accumulated black carbon waste from roadside drains onto Port Beach took place earlier this week.
It left its mark!
A 100mm or so suction hose was connected to a pump and the delivery hose extended about 100 metres across the sand dunes onto the beach.
Polluted black water was pumped onto the beach for at least 30 minutes.
It occurred in at least two places from different sumps.
It was further confirmation WA’s environmental laws do not apply at Port Beach!
Peter McLarty
Durdham Cresent, Bicton

Ironic wave
THE irony of the statement by URBNSURF executive chairman Andrew Ross that the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has determined that his wave park will have no significant impacts on the environment would be laughable if it was not so serious.
In 2017, the fears of opponents that the proposed Tompkins Park wave park wouldn’t receive adequate environmental assessment, came true: by having a tiny slice of the block excised for “future road widening”, the whole site was taken from the jurisdiction of the Swan Canning Development Control Areal; effectively removing the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) and the EPA from the equation and handing assessment to the Department of Planning.
URBNSURF may have self-referred their proposal to the EPA, but it was in the full knowledge the assessment would mean nothing.
The reaction of the EPA must, quite rightly, have been: “What the …? We can’t cope with what we have to assess and now we’re presented with a proposal that’s not even in our jurisdiction?”
Fortunately, many knowledgeable, science-based appeals to the appeals convener will now have to go before the environment minister
and this unbelievably insensitive proposal will be stopped in its tracks.
Robin Napier
Groves Ave, Attadale
Ed’s note: This was edited for length.

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