Public fury after wombat-killing cop keeps job

WOMBAT rescuers will launch a fundraising campaign to raise $100,000 for a legal bid to better protect the animals.

The plan will be launched on Facebook on Sunday night, in response to police clearing an off-duty officer over the stoning of one of the protected animals because he had a "permit to hunt wombats".

Wombat Awareness Association spokeswoman Brigitte Stevens said by midafternoon on Saturday nearly 360,000 people had signed an online petition over the Friday decision to clear the officer.

SA Police officer Waylon Johncock stalks the wombat on a remote country road, moments before stoning it to death. Picture: Wombat Awareness Organisation
SA Police officer Waylon Johncock stalks the wombat on a remote country road, moments before stoning it to death. Picture: Wombat Awareness Organisation

"There are a lot of politicians who are saying how horrible this is but none committing to changing the law,'' she said.

"Tammy Franks and the Greens say they are keen to help, but we also need a legal fund."

Police have been inundated with responses to its decision not to take action against the officer, who was filmed on social media laughing and joking while stoning the animal east of Ceduna two months ago.

SAPOL has begun to block angry Twitter responses to a statement by Commissioner Grant Stevens, which also attracted an unprecedented 12,000 comments on its Facebook post.

The Sunday Mail asked SAPOL for a comment from Senior Community Constable Waylon Johncock explaining why he had killed the animal, but was refused.

"SAPOL won't be making any further comment on the matter,'' a spokesman said in a written response.

You can read Commissioner Steven's full statement here.



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