Wednesday, 31 December 2014

WA shark cull: Colin Barnett defends catch-and-kill policy for 'serious threat'

Anti-cull campaigners describe order to kill shark believed responsible for a fatal attack on a teenager near Albany as a ‘revenge killing’

Tuesday 30 December 2014 04.45 GMT

The West Australian premier, Colin Barnett, has defended his government’s catch-and-kill policy for sharks deemed to pose a “serious threat”.

The No WA Shark Cull group has described the order to kill a great white believed to be responsible for an attack that killed a teenage boy near Albany on Monday as a “revenge killing”.

Addressing the media in Perth on Tuesday, Barnett said the policy was justified by the large number of shark attacks in West Australian waters in recent years, saying “eight fatalities in four years is proof enough”.

On Monday 17-year-old Jay Muscat from Albany died near Cheynes beach, which is about 65km east of the south coast town, after he was bitten on the leg by a large shark.

He had been spearfishing with fellow local teenager Matt Pullella, who told authorities he shot his speargun in the mouth of a great white shark after it bit his friend.

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