By Emilie Gramenz
March 25, 2015, 6:20 pm
The issuing of licences to three-year-olds in Tasmania to kill mutton birds is being investigated by the state's Environment Department.
Department figures for 2014 show three children aged three years or younger received licences to kill mutton birds, also known as short-tailed shearwaters.
The issue has been raised by the Tasmanian Conservation Trust which has sought answers about the current procedure for issuing non-commercial recreational licences.
The licence states the birds need to be killed as humanely as possible, by having their necks snapped or dislocated.
The trust's Peter McGlone said he doubts a young child would be physically able to kill the bird humanely.
"You have to snap the neck of the bird, and these are birds that probably weigh about the same as a domestic chook, and I find it hard to believe that a two or three-year-old can actually do what is required to instantaneously kill a shearwater," he said.