Hunting, fishing and other outdoor pursuits should be protected as rights under the constitution, says Shooters and Fishers Party MLC Robert Borsak.
Mr Borsak says a constitutional guarantee of the right to hunt is necessary because of political efforts to ban it and similar recreational activities, and his party will move to have the NSW Constitution Act amended to reflect this.
“Hunting and fishing should not be political issues, they must be respected as the social and cultural rights and pursuits they are,” he said.
“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?”
Although such protection shouldn’t be needed, he said, Australia may have to consider following the precedent set by 17 US states, where hunting is enshrined as a right in their constitutions.
One of those states has had it since 1777, while the other have all adopted it in amendments since 1996, and more are likely to follow. Others already have more generalised protections in their constitutions.
“It is vital that we conserve our environment, and equally essential that we preserve our rights to be part of it and interact with it,” Mr Borsak said.
“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.”
He pointed out that hunting is “ingrained in human consciousness and genetics by at least 1.5 million years of evolution, according to the latest scientific evidence”.
Rather than following the “Disneyesque” policies currently pursued as conservation in Australia, the country should be adopted modern conservation efforts such as those being used in the US and Europe, he said.