Science

The Game Council NSW reports annually on the number of feral animals recreational hunters have killed in NSW State Forests as opposed to the 'impacts' hunters have on feral animal populations.

When the performance of recreational hunters is measured in terms of the impacts on the whole population of each species, it is clear why reports in Australia conclude that recreational hunting is not effective. For example, there are 7 million foxes in Australia, killing 1638 in NSW will have absolutely no impact on controlling the overall population of the species.

The NSW Government has failed to put forward a scientific or economic rationale justifying why $19.1million dollars is being spent on a recreational hunting program. Opponents to recreational hunting in national parks do not feel that the Government's 'Supplementary Pest Control Program' would survive a truly independent scientific review.

The NSW Minister for Environment has promised to seek a peer review of the program before finalising the regime of controls of the prorgram. The details of the peer review have been not made available to the public despite requests from several organisations and individuals.

2010 NSW Parliamentary Discussion Paper: NSW National Parks and Reserves

A NSW Parliamentary discussion paper was produced in July 2010 on three issues, one of the issues was the introduction of recreational hunting in national parks. The reported noted that:

> Studies indicate that professional, targeted feral animal control is much more successful than recreational hunting
> Game Council data indicates that the kill rate of feral animals by recreational hunters is very low (less than two feral animals per licensed hunter and less than one animal per hunting day in 2007- 2008)
> Recreational hunters have a vested interest in retaining a sustainable population of feral animals to facilitate future hunting
> Feral animal populations were, in some instances, established by hunters to facilitate hunting
> There are safety issues associated with hunting in national parks and hunting conflicts with other recreational uses

View the full briefing: http://bit.ly/18Nw0hC

2009 Invasive Species Council Essay: Is recreational hunting effective for feral animal control

In this its paper 'Is recreational hunting effective for feral animal control', the Invasive Species Council concluded:

“To date, it is likely that greater harm than good has resulted from recreational hunting of feral animals, with most species having expanded in range and numbers despite hunting and, in some cases, because of hunting. The evidence indicates that recreational hunting is not effective as a major or primary method of feral animal control. Where there has been a comparison, professional cullers (using the same or different methods) are far more effective.”

"Genuine reductions in population can only be achieved by sustained and carefully planned programs that meet specific targets for numbers of animals killed. These need to exceed that rate at which populations can replace themselves."

View the full report here: http://www.invasives.org.au/documents/file/reports/EssayProject_RecHunti...

2007 Howard Government Report: Managing pest animals and their impacts

The report 'Managing pest animals and their impacts' was prepared for the Howard Government’s Department of the Environment and Water in 2007. It concluded the following:

"The sport and business of hunting is contributing significantly to Australia’s feral animal problems. For example: One hundred and twenty-seven new feral deer populations are reported to have been created by hunters across Australia; Buffalo, deer and blackbuck have been freed on Cape York Peninsula; and The newly-created Game Council New South Wales has been given a mandate to manage Californian quail, pheasant, chukar partridge, peafowl and turkey, even though none of these species (yet) occurs in the wild on mainland Australia."

"In the past, management efforts have focussed on reducing the feral animal population, with little heed paid to how effectively their impacts were mitigated. A management strategy was considered successful if there was a high ‘body count’ or if few animals were detected. The focus needs to shift to minimising or mitigating impacts on biodiversity, primary production or other socio-economic factors. Cost-effective management relies on a clear understanding of how population numbers affect their impact on the environment."

"Because hunting access to private lands has become more difficult, deer have been released into national parks, state forests, catchment lands and other secluded places for future sport…"

"Pigs are also being released into national parks and other lands to create hunting opportunities. They can often be recognised by their torn ears from having been held down by dogs…"

"The sport and industry of hunting should be monitored to prevent new feral animal problems arising… Any subsequent changes to legislation and policy should consider that some hunters are ‘mavericks’ who ignore laws."

View the full report here: http://www.environment.gov.au/land/publications/pubs/rangelands-feral-bo...