Sunday, 2 September 2012

Recreational hunting - totally useless

I recently tweeted David Shoebridge, a Greens member of the Legislative Council in NSW, asking why the crusade against recreational hunting in NSW and why he is so supportive of aerial baiting using 1080 poison.  A poison well known to indiscriminately target native wildlife and cause horrific suffering of animals subject to secondary poisoning (animals that feed on animals that are poisoned).

You can read more about my views on David's agenda and the use of 1080 poison here... but in this blog i'm going to focus on David's comments concerning the effectiveness of recreational hunters after he suggested amateur hunting is totally useless.

Unlike David, i'm not going to cite evidence from a Greens lobby group (Invasive Species Council), but rather evidence from reputable sources such as the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre and the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

Neither of these bodies claim recreational hunting is totally useless.

In fact they actually support recreational hunting.

Best-practice pest animal management encourages the use of a wide range of control techniques within a strategic framework. Given private recreational hunting and commercial harvesting constitute over 30% of control technique use throughout NSW, it seems appropriate to integrate these techniques within a well-organised control framework administered by regional pest animal managers.

Recreational hunting is also widely used for several pest species, however, careful planning and regulation are required to ensure activities are targeted to maximise their effectiveness at reducing the impacts of pest animals. In short, mechanical control techniques were most commonly used for all species, followed by chemical control, and biological control techniques.

This graph shows recreational hunters make a significant contribution to feral animal control in NSW.

You can read the DPI report here here.