- NSW Premier Nathan Rees and Environment Minister Carmel Tebbutt
Hunters in New South Wales could soon be allowed to go into national parks and kill native animals including black swans, sulphur crested cockatoos and kangaroos if the NSW Labor party supports a Bill currently before parliament.
RSPCA NSW has condemned the Shooters Party Bill saying it's a blatant attempt to disguise recreational hunting as conservation.
"There is no possible conservation benefit to be derived from letting untrained shooters loose in our national parks," said the RSPCA's Chief Scientist, Dr Bidda Jones.
"If this Bill is passed not only will duck hunting be revived in New South Wales but a host of new animals will be added to the hit list including iconic Australian birds like swans and cockatoos.
"Most concerning is the Shooters Party's proposition to amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act so to allow 'canned hunting' on private game reserves, where animals are captured and then released just to be shot by hunters shortly after. The potential for cruelty is enormous."
The Bill contains no measures to protect the welfare of animals shot by recreational hunters and flies in the face of the progress made in recent years to improve humaneness in wildlife and pest animal management.
CEO of RSPCA NSW, Steve Coleman, said the management of pest animals must be strategic if it's going to be effective and any strategy must be justified and humane.
"Far from improving pest animal control, this Bill would actually encourage the introduction of new pest animals into New South Wales, animals that aren't even a problem in this state, just in order to hunt them down and shoot them," Mr Coleman said.
"These ideas take us back to the dark ages and any attempt to suggest that these activities are about conservation or pest animal control is simply laughable.
"There is widespread concern about this Bill in New South Wales. The changes go against the very principles and practices that the NSW Government has been supporting in terms of promoting best practice in pest animal management.
Supporting this bill will set back the advances made in Animal Welfare by decades.
We the undersigned support the RSPCA's call for the Premier of NSW The Hon Nathan Rees MP and Environment Minister, Carmel Tebbutt to reject the proposed Shooters Party Bill in its entirety.
Supporting this Bill in any way, shape or form, will be bad for animal welfare, bad for conservation and bad for New South Wales.
The Rally to reject the Shooters Party Bill in NSW petition to NSW Premier Nathan Rees and Environment Minister Carmel Tebbutt was written by RSPCANSW and is in the category Animal Welfare at GoPetition.