ANIMAL rights advocates have urged the Bendigo Golf Club to avoid shooting corellas that dig up its putting greens.
The club this week commissioned someone to shoot corellas after seven years of problems with the birds, which it says have been causing "significant damage".
Bendigo resident Zerin Knight is among a group of advocates expressing alarm over the decision.
"I'm appalled and disgusted by it. There is no need, at all, to kill those beautiful corellas," she said.
"There are ways that you can manage them without having to kill them."
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The club's golf operations manager Liam Carney said the decision to shoot corellas was not one that the club had taken lightly.
"I can't stress enough that it is a last resort," he said.
"We would have had at least 1000 birds here on Monday night, that had come in on Monday morning."
Mr Carney said the club had tried for years to co-exist with corellas and had tried a host of ideas to try to keep the birds away from putting greens.
That has included things like rubber snakes, shining reflective surfaces and other ideas to startle birds landing on putting greens.
The club has had little success, and the cost and complexities of repairing the greens was having a significant impact on the business, Mr Carney said.
The club had made sure to get approvals from all relevant authorities before any shots were fired and the program was designed to kill as few animals as possible, Mr Carney said.
Some birds were killed that evening but most appeared startled by the noise of the gunshots and flew away, he said.
Animal Justice Party spokesperson Georgie Purcell said using sound to scare the birds could have had the same impact.
She said plans to shoot animals came up at golf courses and other recreational facilities "all the time" despite precedents that showed other options could be used.
"Thankfully, we have been relatively successful about having conversations around native wildlife," Ms Purcell said.
She said her group had been "inundated" with concerns from members of the public since Monday.
Mr Carney said his group would be open to meeting with AJP members to discuss potential options.
"Look, if they believe there are better alternatives and those prove successful, we would certainly look at it because we want the best outcome for everyone," he said.
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