Victorian Department of Primary Industries

Hunting of game species (deer, duck and quail), in season is currently permitted within Victorian State Game Reserves. However, pest species may not be hunted, even with a Registration of Interest to Hunt Pest Animals on Crown Land, except when specifically authorised by the Department of Primary Industries (DPI).

Hunters of game species are keenly aware of the impact of introduced pests such as the European Red Fox, Feral Cat and European Rabbit on native ecosystems. The vast majority also hunt species designated as feral on private and Crown land, in addition to game species in season.

Organisations such as Field and Game Australia undertake significant efforts to preserve and restore wetlands and funds from the purchase of Victorian Game Licences is used to finance activities such as research, construction of nest boxes, revegetation and waterfowl surveys. The removal of introduced pests that threaten both target and non-target native and game secies should be a logical and holistic part of these conservation efforts.

Several State Game Reserves (eg. Lake Goldsmith) are wetlands that dry up before duck season commences on years of decreased rainfall. The ducks leave. Hunters have currently little incentive to visit these places in the absence of legal game, and feral species that move in threaten the establishment of waterfowl when the water returns.

As firearms use is already permitted within these reserves, allowing hunters to also take pest species does not pose an additional risk to public safety.

Lastly, most State Game Reserves are bordered by private agricultural land upon which their landowners perform their own pest control. As long as feral species can find sanctuary within the Reserves, they will always be able to recolonise adjacent private land and render these efforts futile.

We, the undersigned, call upon the Victorian Department of Primary Industries to end the perverse status quo that currently exists in Victorian State Game Reserves; where a sustainable take of game species is permitted but pests roam with impunity.

Please legalise the hunting of feral pests within State Game Reserves.

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The Legalise hunting of feral pests within Victorian State Game Reserves petition to Victorian Department of Primary Industries was written by Simon and is in the category Environment at GoPetition.