RSPCA WA has welcomed the decision by the State Government not to support open recreational hunting in national parks, saying it is sensible and a win for animal welfare.
“Unsupervised hunting by amateurs poses a high risk to animal welfare and also to public safety,” said President Lynne Bradshaw.
“The Government has made a wise decision.
Mrs Bradshaw said that RSPCA WA recognised that pest animal control was an ongoing issue involving many different species of animals affecting numerous communities across the State.
“RSPCA WA supports the managed and coordinated pest animal management programs currently conducted by the Department of Parks and Wildlife including the involvement of recreational shooting groups, where considered appropriate by the Department. In these situations, we appreciate the role of DPaW in carefully managing these programs to ensure best practice animal welfare as well as public safety.
“The notion that amateur shooters can have a role in managing pest animals outside these targeted and well managed programs by DPaW and other government agencies is nonsense.”
Mrs Bradshaw called for more support for proper pest animal control programs and more effective policing of illegal hunting.
“We want to see increased government support for properly coordinated and managed pest animal control programs such as those currently managed by DPaW.
“What is being done is a scattergun approach between different government agencies including DPaW, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and the management of pest animals would be better served by more interagency cooperation and government support, which would make a real difference.
“Further, we believe that the effectiveness of such programs would be enhanced by increased support for prevention and better surveillance and policing of illegal hunting activities.”
Today’s announcement by Environment Minister Albert Jacob was in response to the Public Administration Committee’s report on recreational hunting systems.