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22 June 2009 - Shooters seek to open up national parks to hunting      

Shooters seek to open up national parks to hunting

Sydney, 22 June 2009                

The NSW Shooters Party has introduced a Bill into Parliament to increase legalised hunting in NSW. If passed, this Bill will see national parks opened up to recreational hunting, legalised hunting of native animals, and the designation of private game reserves where animals will be fenced in for easy targeting.

This Bill could be debated in Parliament as early as tomorrow.

“The Bill seeks to regress conservation efforts in NSW, and in many ways proposes serious risks not only to native wildlife and the pristine qualities of national parks, but also to public safety and civil liberties,” said Michael Kennedy, HSI Director.

The Bill proposes that National Parks in NSW, now tranquil havens for animals and people alike, can be designated areas where recreational hunting is permitted. Equally abhorrent is the provision that would allow hunters to increasingly target native animals such as ducks, galahs, corellas and kangaroos.

“There is no possible justification for the rampant hunting of native species,” said Mr Kennedy. “Likewise, there is no evidence to suggest that the ad hoc hunting of feral animals by recreational shooters in any way advances moves to control their spread. On the contrary, the spread of feral animals is likely to increase as new roads and paths are paved through national parks.”

Private game reserves proposed in the Bill, are essentially “canned hunting” reserves where animals are enclosed within areas, with no means of escape, and where they can be easily trapped and killed. These facilities are cruel and unnecessary and a pitiful way for “hunters” to make an easy kill.

The Bill also includes absurd provisions making it an offence for any member of the public to approach hunters shooting in declared areas.

“It is the public and private landholders who face ongoing threats of intimidation and invasion of privacy from hunters who routinely jump fences and use firearms in dangerously close proximity to farm buildings,” said Mr Kennedy.

“It is imperative that the NSW Government does not cave into a compromise deal that will allow any provisions in this Bill to be passed,” concluded Mr Kennedy. “The Bill, in its entirety, must be opposed.”

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