Victoria continues to remain well ahead of the rest of the country when it comes to hunting and game management. The State Government announced changes aiming to expand the Victorian game meat industry and encourage sustainable hunting.
A number of amendments have been made to the Meat Industry Act 1993 and the Wildlife Act 1975 to allow wild deer to be sold and processed in PrimeSafe licensed services.
The Victorian Government can see the value in hunting. Recreational hunting is growing in popularity. There are now more than 50,000 licensed game hunters in Victoria, an increase of about 8,000 in the last five years. Together with people who shoot pest animals, these tens of thousands of Victorians contribute over $439 million to the economy each year and support almost 3,500 jobs. Much of this benefit is seen in small towns and regional cities across country Victoria.
Growing hunting’s benefits
In order to grow the social and economic benefits of hunting, the action plan will inform hunters of seasonal arrangements using social media and other technology, make game meat processing easier, monitor the economic benefits of hunting to inform future decisions and facilitate hunting tourism.
To protect threatened, endangered and at-risk species, hunting regulations, including where hunting may and may not occur, are sometimes varied at very short notice. To make it easier for hunters to plan, the action plan will examine the most effective ways to tell stakeholders about seasonal variations, including better use of technology and social media.
There are currently obstacles that stop game and pest hunters from fully utilising the animals they hunt. To minimise waste and help hunters maximise the use of harvested game, the action plan will investigate and remove barriers to game meat processing.
Non-residents of Victoria, who have the appropriate firearms licences, can apply for a Victorian Game Licence and come to Victoria.
In Victoria, we have the best of everything. With our deer, duck, quail, pheasant and partridge populations, we are regarded
as having some of the best hunting opportunities in Australia.
Many Victorians have a long tradition of spending quality weekends camping with family and friends and hunting game, be it close to home or further afield. It is important that game hunting in Victoria continues to be a safe, responsible and sustainable recreation for generations to come.
That’s why I am pleased to release the Sustainable Hunting Action Plan. Earlier this year, the Labor Government allocated $5.3 million in the 2016/17 Victorian Budget to support the development and delivery of this plan. We’re taking steps to support hunters, because we know the importance of education, access, awareness and good communication.
This plan is a significant milestone for game hunting in Victoria. Never before has government and community partnered to develop and see through so many measurable outcomes. Over the next four years, the Government will work with our agencies and the community to: • promote responsible hunting • maximise the economic, environmental and social benefits of hunting to Victoria • improve hunting opportunities • ensure that game hunting remains sustainable