Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Outrage at shooter's plan for hunting in national parks, wildlife hunting and feral breeding programs

“Last week the Shooters Party introduced legislation into the NSW Parliament to allow hunting in national parks, and which would also allow native species to be hunted,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.

“The Colong Foundation for Wilderness calls on all major parties to throw this wretchedly damaging the Game and Feral Animal Control Amendment Bill out of Parliament into the gutter where it belongs”, he said.

“The hunters lie about hunting providing feral animal control. Recreational hunting is a prime cause of pest species dispersal, and what's more taxpayers subsidise it to the tune of millions of dollars a year, so that it costs $323 an animal killed. Shooters lie about the benefits, as they mostly kill rabbits and only kill half the animals they shoot, causing untold needless suffering in the pursuit of their blood sport”, he said.

“But the biggest lie of all is that hunters are conservationists, when now they are demanding access to hunt native wildlife. The Shooters Party legislation proposes 26 native species as suitable for hunting down on public land, which includes national parks,” he said.

“Ground shooting by recreational hunters is totally ineffective as feral pigs, rabbits, dogs, deer, foxes and cats breed up fast. Further hunting pigs with dogs spread these pests into remote areas, and what is more hunting dogs can go out of control and these brutal hunters often run off to go feral in the bush”, said Mr Muir.

“In the case of deer, hunters buy deer from struggling deer farms and release them into the bush to hunt. Their Government funded lobby, the Game Council, recently opposed listing deer as feral species, ignoring the damage these pests cause,” he said.

“Hunters often leave deer carcasses in the bush, as many want only the antlers as trophies, providing meat for feral dogs, foxes and pigs populations. Female deer are not targeted, so there is no control of these pests that the hunters call game”, Mr Muir said.

“In short giving hunters a new law to help spread feral animals into national parks for hunting purposes is as bad as it gets,” said Mr Muir.

“If you think this sounds over the top, then how about releasing exotic bird species such as pheasants, European partridges, California quail and guinea fowl to damage farmer's crops? The Bill wants to support the breeding up of these pest birds on ‘private game reserves' that are not currently present in NSW , which is simply a formula for a feral animal time bomb”, said Mr Muir.

For more information contact: Keith Muir , (02) 9261 2400 (wk) or 0412 791 404 (mob)