The Shooters and Fishers Party has used the results of a Pestsmart fox control program to deliver a slap in the face to the Greens, National Park Association and other groups that hide their anti-hunting ideology behind claims that hunting is ineffective pest management.
Citing the success of the community-based fox shooting program, the SFP also fired a broadside at the centralised nature of pest management in NSW, which has been a failure overall.
With pest numbers generally increasing in the state, and the growth of the Game Council and its Conservation Hunting Group programs, the SFP says conservation hunting must become part of the state’s pest control philosophy.
“Groups such as the National Parks Association continually call for ‘professionals’ and poisons until the money runs out, while denying the benefits of conservation hunting,” the SFP says in a statement.
“The position of the NPA, Greens and others is about opposition to hunting and firearms ownership. It is politically driven opposition, not about real conservation outcomes.
“If their claims are valid, why can’t they demonstrate where any ‘professional’ program has ever been successful?”
The Pestsmart program, run on the NSW South Coast, succeeded by using shooting as its primary control method, along with trapping. Crucially, no poisons were used, mainly because landholders were heavily opposed to the use of 1080.
It employed a single professional hunter to do the shooting, a job the SFP says can be handled by R-licence holders under the coordination of Game Council Conservation Hunting Groups.
The Pestsmart program ended when funding ran out, but Game Council volunteers would cost NSW no more than the cost of coordination by the Game Council.
“Conservation hunting is not only effective but crucial to a broad-ranging attack on feral animals in NSW,” the SFP said.
“The evidence supporting Conservation Hunting is staring us in the face, and the Shooters and Fishers Party looks forward to the concept expanding into National Parks in the coming months.”
The full statement and a link to the Pestsmart results are available on the SFP website.