Bowhunting father Zach Slattery has put his son in a “very dangerous situation” and risks traumatising him, according to Animal Justice Party MP Emma Hurst.
“We’ve heard from psychologists who’ve reached out to the Animal Justice Party, who are really concerned about the trauma these children experience witnessing this.”
“I mean, that puts that toddler in a very dangerous situation, and also risks them experiencing trauma from witnessing an animal dying and being torn to pieces,” she said on the podcast I’ve Got News For You podcast. “It’s really concerning.”
However, Zach says he’s just doing what comes naturally, after being introduced to hunting himself at a very young age.
“I started hunting before I had any memory of going out,” he tells podcast host Andrew Bucklow. “My grandparents used to take me out camping and fishing and hunting quite young so it’s just all I’ve known growing up.”
Andrew is teaching his seven-year-old stepson to shoot a bow and takes the boys into the bush with him regularly.
He considers it all a part of a good upbringing.
“He loves going out,” says Zach. “It’s time that we spend bonding together … I want him to have fun out there.”
He says he does not remember the first time he killed an animal he hunted because he was so young.
He continues to hunt, using both bows and firearms, doing pest control as well as hunting for meat.
Bucklow’s podcast is a response to proposals to lower the age at which a permit may be issued for hunting on public land in NSW.
Emma Hurst says there has been a “huge community backlash” against the proposal and has vowed that the AJP will fight against it.
She says she suspects there has been an attempt to sneak the change through parliament without MPs noticing and credits the media attention it has drawn with bringing it to light.