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Airport strays may be killed
Airport strays may be killed

Stray animals at Busselton Regional Airport can be destroyed if they pose a risk to planes and passengers.

Busselton City Council empowered airport authorities to deal with animals threatening aircraft taking off or landing at a council meeting last month.

City commercial services manager Jenny May said it was a precautionary measure as stray animals were not a significant issue at the airport.

“This is about being proactive and dealing with the situation if it occurs,” she said.

“From time to time we get kangaroos in the airport precinct, but we open the gates or use a vehicle or people on foot and they just move on quickly, but it’s rare.”

A report presented to council indicated there was inconsistency regarding airport officials’ powers to deal with animals at the airport.

This has been clarified so that animals posing a danger to people may be destroyed, subject to the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950.

Ms May stopped short of revealing how problem animals would be destroyed, stating this was something the Department of Environment and Conservation or the RSPCA would decide.

“If a plane was trying to land and there were animals on the runway, we would activate our emergency plan, but this is something we would do only in consultation with the DEC, rangers or local vets,” she said.

“Generally we don’t have an issue as our wildlife-proof fencing tends to keep animals out of the airport.”