NSW Game Council abolished, but questions remain

The Invasive Species Council praised the decision by the NSW Government today to abolish the NSW Game Council and suspend hunting on public lands. It is a common sense decision that recognises the fundamental flaws of the NSW Game Council, the serious safety issues and the negative environmental result.

“This is a great result for the tireless efforts of the community run campaigns against the proposal to allow hunting in NSW national parks. We offer tribute to the efforts of tens of thousands of concerned people from all over NSW, led by National Parks Association of NSW, who understand effective feral control and value our natural places”, said Andrew Cox, CEO of the Invasive Species Council.

“However their work may not be over because the government is still proceeding with recreational hunting in NSW national parks.

“The Invasive Species Council has from the outset argued that the model of using Game Council recreational hunters to undertake feral animal control was ineffective and counter-productive. In particular it undermined the control of feral deer”, said Mr Cox.

“The environment does not benefit from untrained Game Council hunters shooting relatively small numbers of foxes, pigs, goats, rabbits and deer. The policy positions of the Game Council and the activities of hunters contributed to the spread of feral deer.

“We call on the NSW Government to explain how volunteer shooters may be used on public land and in national parks.

“The Invasive Species Council supports the use of shooters in some aspects of feral animal control, but under very different conditions to that proposed by the NSW Game Council. The South Australian and Queensland governments have credible volunteer shooter programs in place.

“The Invasive Species Council calls on the NSW Government to redirect NSW Game Council funds towards science-based feral animal control programs. Game animals targeted by hunters, such as deer and a handful of exotic birds, should now be reclassified as pest animals to allow more effective control on public and private lands.

“We also call on the Victorian Government, which decided in May 2013 to set up a Game Management Authority modelled on the NSW Game Council, to reconsider its plans in light of the Dunn inquiry finding inherent conflict in having a body run by hunters regulating hunting and promoting hunting”, concluded Mr Cox.

For more information: Is Hunting Conservation?

For comment: Andrew Cox, Invasive Species Council CEO – 0438 588 040.


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