RSPCA WA is extremely disappointed and concerned about this. This proposal is way out of touch with the sentiment the vast majority of Western Australians have in relation to hobby hunting. In an independent survey conducted in 2012 the overwhelming majority of West Australians said that recreational hunting is unacceptable.
Hunting has the potential to result in significant animal suffering with animals killed by methods that do not cause a quick and painless death. Although some hunters may have the skills, knowledge and motivation to minimise the suffering of their prey, many do not and it is inevitable that animals will endure pain and distress.
Illegal hunting is occurring on public land in Western Australia and RSPCA WA has evidence of animal cruelty as a result of these activities. Despite efforts by the WA Police, DPAW, DAFWA, RSPCA WA and other agencies these illegal activities appear to be increasing and we are concerned that there are currently insufficient resources allocated to control.
A key argument in support of the proposal is the effect recreational hunting will have in controlling pest and feral species.
Pest programs which have relied on recreational hunters have proven to be inhumane and highly ineffective as a means of controlling target pest species, and in fact hinder coordinated and targeted pest animal control programs. Consistent evidence to support this was presented to the Committee during their deliberations. RSPCA WA recognises that there is a need to ensure that the impacts of pest animals are minimised and supports humane, controlled and well-managed pest management programs, including the use of highly skilled and trained shooters where appropriate.
We need to take a stand NOW and say no to animal cruelty.
If this proposal goes ahead it will be an animal welfare disaster.
RSPCA WA lodged a submission with the committee during its deliberations highlighting the many issues that are attached to recreational hunting on public lands.
You can take a number of important and easy steps TODAY to stop this proposal becoming a reality.