The Emu War

TechNews Writer
Mon Apr 26, 2021

The Emu War, also regarded as the Greatest Emu War, was a disturbance nature wildlife control military campaign conducted in Australia in the late 1932 to counter public outrage about the volume of emus said to have been wreaking havoc in Western Australia's Campion region. The failed ability to influence the community of emus, a huge wingless bird native to Australia, used armies armed with Stewart guns, prompting the press to relate to the event as the "Emu War." Even though many of the species were destroyed, the emu population thrived and proceeded to destroy crops.

Wake of World war I, the government of Australia offered support to a substantial percentage of displaced veterans who had participated in the war, allowing them to start cultivating in Western Australia, mostly in intensive agriculture marginal lands. When the big depression began in the year 1929, such peasants were motivated to expand their wheat production, with the implement of the government policies — and refusing to provide — encouragement in the form of benefits. Despite the advice and pledged subsidies, wheat costs continued to decline, and by October 1932, things had heated up, with farmers planning to cultivate the season especially crop while attempting to threaten to supply the wheat.

Farmers' problems were exacerbated by the emergence of up to 20,000 emus. Emus travel to the coastline from the inland areas after their mating season. Now with clear land and sufficient water sources given access for livestock by Western Australian peasants, emus discovered that the agricultural lands were great habitat and started to penetrate farm territory—particularly the peripheral agricultural land surrounding Walgoolan and Chandler. The emus ate and damaged the crops and causing huge disparities in the fences through which rabbits could reach and trigger additional problems.

Farmers expressed their fears about the birds destroying their fields, and an ex-soldier delegation had been sent to consult with Defense Secretary Sir George Pearce. The guardsman, who had served in World War I, were well informed of the usefulness of automatic rifles and ordered their implementation. The government readily accepted, but with circumstances: the weapons was being used by armed units, troop transportation would be paid for by the West government of Australia, and the peasants would provide food, lodging, and compensation for the weapons. Pearce has advocated the operation on the pretext that the birds might make decent option practice, although this has also been speculated that some in the administration may have perceived the campaign as a way of appearing to be supporting Western Australian agriculturist, in order to save the emerging secessionist movement. 



Appears in
2021 - Spring - Issue 11