Western Australian MLC Rick Mazza of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party read his Game and Feral Animal Control Bill 2018 for a second time in that states Legislative Council yesterday.
Mr Mazza said the Bill provides a sensible and safe regulated hunting system that will benefit Western Australia’s economy, environment and the physical and mental wellbeing of the people engaged in the legitimate activity of hunting.
“This Bill does not involve the indiscriminate hunting of animals. Rather, it allows for the humane targeting of game animals and declared pests that need to be controlled using a structured, regulated system. Feral cats, dogs, goats, foxes, hares, rabbits, pigs, deer, donkeys and camels, negatively impact our environment and the agricultural sector,” Mr Mazza said.
Similar to New South Wales legislation, the Western Australian hunting system will involve the use of an online booking and GPS system, as well as a requirement to wear blaze orange clothing. The GPS system clearly identifies where a hunter is and where he or she is allowed to hunt. The booking system will require participants to report back on the type and numbers of animals taken from declared public land at the completion of their hunt.
“Large tracks of Government managed land are breeding grounds for pest animals that then become problematic for neighbouring private land holders. It is cost prohibitive for Governments to manage pest animals on all its lands and assistance from recreational hunters is an underutilised resource,” Mr Mazza said.
The September 2019 ‘Economic and social impacts of recreational hunting and shooting’ final report found the gross contribution to GDP, or the economic footprint, from recreational hunting and sport shooting activity in Australia in 2018 was estimated to be $2.4 billion, comprising $0.8 billion directly and $1.6 billion as a result of flow-on economic activity.
The report also found hunting is beneficial for mental and physical health in the way it engages participants with nature. Mr Mazza said hunters universally are responsible people and undertake their lifestyle with consideration and care.
“They will need to be fit and proper and have met the necessary requirements to obtain a Game Hunting licence. They also want to be part of the feral animal control solution by participating in a legal and robustly regulated hunting system and add to a healthy lifestyle which includes exercise and Game food together with a social outlet,” Mr Mazza said.
The Australian Deer Association fully supports Mr Mazza's initiative and thanks him again for his efforts.