NSW hunting laws have all sides ducking for cover
CONSERVATIONISTS paint a bleak picture for native wildlife once hunting laws are relaxed in January.
Groups including the National Parks Association of NSW and politicians led by The Greens MLC David Shoebridge are campaigning to repeal the Game and Feral Animal Control Amendment Act 2012.
The NPA has already conducted 12 rallies across the state to protest the legislation and has established a campaign fund to agitate to have the Act revoked.
In a controversial policy back flip on November 22, legislation authorising increased duck hunting on private land passed the NSW upper house with in principle support of the NSW Coalition Government.
"What was originally a duck hunting bill from the minor Shooters and Fishers Party has been embraced and adopted wholeheartedly by the O'Farrell government," Mr Shoebridge said.
"The pro-hunting Game Council will now be licensing duck hunters in NSW.
"The O'Farrell duck hunting scheme expands the former Labor government's game bird mitigation program and will see thousands of our native animals being killed and wounded for sport."
Mr Shoebridge disputed claims that duck hunting would be restricted to a few waterways in southern parts of the state.
"The duck hunting is being opened up on private land, anywhere in the State, to kill the listed waterfowl for 'agricultural management purposes'," he said.
"All that will be needed is a license from the Game Council and there will be no involvement by the National Park and Wildlife Service.
"This is the key change."
A list of birds to be hunted (see below) includes numerous varieties of duck, quail and pigeon, common to backyards and reserves around the Coffs Coast and conservationists believe some hunters will be inclined to 'shoot first' and plead ignorance if caught out later.
Shooters and Fishers MLC Robert Borsak has released a statement in support of hunting rights.
"Hunting is ingrained in human consciousness and genetics by at least 1.5 million years of evolution," he said.
"According to the latest scientific evidence and in the modern perspective, fishing is one of the nation's most popular pursuits.
"Is it any surprise, then, that fishers and hunters have rallied so strongly in the political arena to undo the ideologically driven bans of the extremists who've hijacked the politics of real conservation?
"Australia and NSW in particular has allowed a Disneyesque view of the wild world to dictate government policy, rather than follow the tried and true paths of conservation in our modern times, pioneered in Europe and the USA.
"Anti-hunting and fishing agendas have been implemented by a minority who hold the ridiculous belief that humankind has evolved away from the urge to hunt, fish and gather.
"But the truth is these vocal activists simply do not like something that is part of our genetic history and central to our cultural heritage."
Native Birds To Be Hunted
Australian Shelduck or Mountain Duck (Tadorna tadornoides)
Australian Wood Duck or Maned Duck (Chenonetta jubata)
Black Duck or Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa)
Blue-winged Shoveler or Australasian Shoveler (Anas rhynchotis)
Chestnut Teal (Anas castanea)
Grass Whistling Duck or Plumed Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna eytoni)
Grey Teal (Anas gibberifrons)
Hardhead Duck or White-eyed Duck (Aythya australis)
Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus)
Water Whistling Duck, Wandering Whistling Duck or Whistling or Wandering Tree Duck (Dendrocygna arcuata)
Brown Quail (Coturnix ypsilophora)
Stubble Quail (Coturnix pectoralis)
Common Bronzewing Pigeon (Phaps chalcoptera)
Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes)