The recent furore over whether Game Council officials were in breach of the council’s own guidelines on humane killing practices raises again the question of whether the Game Council can be trusted to regulate hunting and prevent even the most egregious cruelty to animals.
This statutory authority has a budget of $2.5 million in taxpayers’ money, from which, according to its own report, it manages to employ just nine “Authorised Officers”, only 40 per cent of whose time involves enforcing compliance.
Even if they could ensure the compliance of the 15,000 registered hunters in the 20,000 square kilometres of NSW State Forests and 50,000 square kilometres of national parks - which is clearly impossible - the number of animals killed or left to bleed to death has no effect on feral animal numbers.
Hunting has no redeeming features - it is simply a blood sport. It is unethical and should be banned - not just in national parks but in all NSW territories.
Bloodthirsty hunters have maimed and killed feral animals as well as native ducks, wallabies and other animals. Many are shot, wounded and left to languish.
There are more humane and effective ways to reduce feral animal populations. Killing won’t work, because more animals will simply move in to the areas and breed.
Allowing recreational shooting in public areas also puts people at risk. The National Parks Association has even warned people to steer clear of national parks and reserves where hunting is allowed.
The vast majority of Australians, from park rangers to politicians, oppose hunting. For the animals’ and the public’s sake, the Premier should repeal the law that allows hunting in national parks and ban hunting in all other areas, too.