We have repeatedly (1, 2, 3) warned about the risks of feral horses, deer and other species not being controlled in their numbers around major roads.

The Queensland Police Service has refused an exemption for Brisbane City Council to use sound suppressors to more effectively cull deer in Council bounds. One Queenslander apparently litigated and appealed to get the Council access to suppressors, without success.

Some people – including licensed shooters – have reacted to the problem of feral animals with individualised advice: “Just drive slower!” and “Lookout for animals!” They are practical people and these reactions make sense to them; they can imagine themselves driving slower and looking out for animals. But at a population-wide level, it’s useless advice.

People “know” lung exposure to asbestos causes an awful and debilitating cancer. But that doesn’t mean everyone in Australia is taking rational precautions to control their exposure to those risks when they renovate. We all agree the better thing is to control exposure to asbestos and remove it safely and uniformly if we can.

The same is true of deer, horses and other ferals near our roads. We know, statistically, that the more people are exposed to this risk, the greater the numbers who are going to be hospitalised or die from motor vehicle accidents. LAFO has a pile of Queensland Transport crash reports and Coronial reports that bear out this truth.

Instead of giving individualised advice (“Lookout for animals when driving!”) LAFO supports consistent and effective safety measures, like pest control measures that make our roads and families safer. The former LNP government, for all its failings, actually agreed that Councils need suppressors for large vertebrate control.

Until the best public outcome of feral control is realised, we agree you should “Lookout for animals!” on any major road.