The Sun Herald may this week run an anti-hunting ad that makes blatantly false claims and shows a hunter aiming dangerously towards a family of bushwalkers.
The provocative ad is part of a campaign being run by advocacy group GetUp! to stop hunting being rolled out in NSW national parks, and is expected to go ahead after the group raised more than $40,000 to pay to have it run in the Fairfax Sunday paper.
The ad repeats a number of falsehoods that have become standards of the anti-hunting movement, including the claim that a government risk assessment rates the risk of someone being shot by hunters as “major”.
However, that risk assessment was a draft version that listed hypothetical risks in “unmitigated” circumstances, ie, where no controls are put in place. The actual risk associated with the introduction of hunting in national parks is expected to be no higher than for other outdoor activities.
GetUp! has launched its campaign even before details of the scheme, including safety systems and hunting maps, have been released, so it’s impossible for the organisation to back up its claims. This has not stopped them labelling hunting in national parks as being “stupid”.
The GetUp! ad goes as far as saying it is an “evidence based fact” that “allowing amateur hunters, some as young as 12, to control feral populations in not worth the risk to human lives”. Statistical evidence of this kind does not exist.
Junior hunters have become the latest topic of anti-hunting focus, after the Australian Workers Union leaked confirmation that junior hunters would also be allowed to hunt in national parks.
This news was being touted as an ‘exclusive’ revelation by Fairfax media, despite the expectation that it would be the case because it is already permitted in state forests, and the AWU is trying to use it as a reason to call a strike by its members in opposition to hunting.
AWU state secretary Russ Collison used words such as reckless, dangerous, horrified and “deadly weapons” to stir up a reaction, but Game Council Chairman John Mumford confirmed that juniors would have to be supervised when hunting, as they are in state forests.
Collison zeroed in on the use of blackpowder firearms, not only trying to demean hunters but implying they’ll be breaking the law by hunting with handguns.
“Hunters will be wandering around national parks with old-fashioned pistols and replica vintage firearms,” he said. “Presumably they’ll be wearing Davey Crocket [sic] hats as well.”