The Invasive Species Council today condemned a decision by the NSW Government to open up about 40% of the state’s national parks and reserves to hunting.
The plan, announced yesterday by NSW premier Barry O’Farrell, overturns his promise to keep sport hunting out of national parks.
“This plan opens up almost 80 national parks and reserves – close to 3 million hectares or 40% of all NSW parks and reserves – to hunting overseen by the NSW Game Council,” Invasive Species Council president Andrew Cox said today.
“The Invasive Species Council supports humane and effective control of feral animals to reduce their impacts on the environment.
“However, research shows that recreational hunting is generally ineffective. It leads to the dispersal of feral animals and undermines existing professional feral animal control programs.
“The regime of recreational hunting in NSW has been widely discredited and should not be permitted in national parks.”
Permits will be issued by Game Council NSW, a hunter dominated body representing recreational interests that was not established to deliver credible and scientific-based control programs.
“Ground shooting is not normally the best way to control most feral animals including foxes, pigs and rabbits,” Mr Cox said.
“There are also serious risks that maverick hunters will introduce feral animals onto public lands to create better hunting opportunities, as has occurred with deer and pigs.
“Hunters often avoid killing all feral animals in an area so that there are more feral animals for future hunting expeditions.”
For a detailed analysis of the value of recreational hunting in feral animal control see ‘Is hunting conservation?
Andrew Cox, Invasive Species Council President – 0438 588 040.