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Issue #1594      May 22, 2013

A week of hunting crime

A series of hunting related activities over the past week have highlighted safety and nature conservation risks related to amateur, recreational hunting.

“Over the past week, there have been reports of three incidents involving one hunter nearly being shot, a park user being threatened by bow hunters and a hunter being found to be transporting feral pigs which increases pig populations in areas where they are released,” says Justin McKee of the National Parks Association of NSW.

“Consistent with controlling pest animals, the NSW government needs to invest for the long term in a sustained, well resourced program to combat illegal hunting activity. Until then, the government is in no position to be making deals that garner more responsibilities for amateur hunters or the Game Council.”

An incident in Alpine National Park, Victoria involved a hunter discharging his gun in the direction of another hunter, narrowly missing him. This highlights that there is broad range of skill sets among recreational hunters, and, that there should not be hunters and other park users in the same space.

A second incident in a national park in the Hunter, NSW involved a park user having his life threatened by a group of archers if he did not leave the area. The Coalition government’s own risk assessment identified that there would be confrontation between hunters and other park users, and before hunting programs in national parks have begun, this has occurred.

It was reported in the Lithgow Mercury that a man pulled over for a breath test is now facing charges for illegal transporting feral pigs from one area to another. This is how some hunters spike populations of feral pigs in areas they wish to hunt and has nothing to do with controlling pest animal populations or conservation hunting.

“The safety and conservation risks identified by the government in relation to recreational hunting are very real,” Mr McKee said.

“The predictability of outcomes from a professional program is far more reliable and beneficial than any amateur based program can ever be. We ask the Premier not make the mistake of proving that and pull the pin on the program swiftly,” concluded Mr McKee.   

Next article – Tragic asylum seeker farce – Australia excises itself

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