Feral animal control plan a shot in the park in NSW

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'Skilled volunteers' are targeting feral animals in NSW National Parks

The trial of a plan to allow amateur hunters into New South Wales national parks will begin next month.

Environment Minister Robyn Parker recently announced the 12 parks and reserves which will be opened to ‘skilled volunteers’ for the first time.

The three-year trial will see licensed amateur hunters allowed to shoot feral animals in the: Cocopara Nature Reserve near Griffith; Yathong Nature Reserve and Nombinnie Nature Reserve and state conservation area near Cobar; Murrumbidgee Valley National Park and state conservation area near Balranald; Goonoo National Park and state conservation area and Coolbaggie Nature Reserve near Dubbo; Gundabooka National Park and state conservation area near Bourke and Woomargama National Park near Albury.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that areas in which the shooting of feral animals is taking place will be closed and the public given at least 48 hours notice.

Ms Parker said shooting would not take place during school holidays or at night. Use of dogs, bows and black powder muskets will be banned and shooters will need the ”equivalent skill and accreditation level” to professional staff and have to be over 18 years of age.

The trial will be conducted under strict supervision by National Parks and Wildlife officers.

The Natural Resources Commission will review the trial’s outcomes in 2016.

Ms Parker said the timing of the call for volunteer shooters would be based on ”need and the advice” of the National Parks and Wildlife Service

The New South Wales Government is also in the process of re-declaring 358 state forests for hunting. Hunting in state forests was suspended in July after the management of its regulator, the Game Council of NSW, was severely criticised.

What do you think of the hunting in parks plan? Would it put you off visiting the affected parks and reserves? Comment below

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5 Responses to Feral animal control plan a shot in the park in NSW

  1. I think I’m going to upset a lot Of People but I think this is something that needs to be done.. it is a far better way to get rid of vermin[cat’s and dog’s] in the wild over using poison’s..

  2. I have many concerns:
    Chiefly though, is that “live” ammunition may be found by children long after the skilled volunteers have gone… We note that Army Firing Ranges are totally out of bounds to the public (even when maneuvres have ceased) on the grounds that live ammunition is an ever-present danger to the public.
    In addition – are the skilled volunteers obliged to retrieve every one of their spent catridges – in line with NP “leave no trace” policy..??

    • Feral cats are decimating small native animals. Take a drive around Winton for example. We counted over 30 cats on roadsides eating the roadkill. If that many were visible the numbers out in the grass are unimaginable. Responsible shooters never leave live ammo anywhere. A regulated culling program in in place in a lot of parks but the increased number of feral animals and the decreasing number of rangers mean they are losing the upper hand of control. From a cynical point of view the government should be happy not to have to pay for the help not to mention the ammo.

    • Joe, I would hope the ‘skilled volunters’ would be members of gun clubs / licenced firearm laws would make this a big possibilty / and from years of experience those sort of shooters would be using centerfire amo and reloading their shells. Also “live” ammunition (re army ranges) usually referrs to explosive projectiles. Not what the ordinery hunter uses on feral cats! I wouldn’t lose much sleep over the chances of kids picking up ‘live ammo’ .

  3. rifle licenses are not given out easy and are most difficult to get in western australia but there are many who would give up there time and at great expense go into national parks to help eradicate these feral cats and other vermin so sadly left to prosper due to lack of action. Government bodies and others should welcome this as shooters that have licences do not leave amunition or rubbish behind making it no trace operation. Many farmers and station owners welcome such a system to help control vermin which wether you like it or not is one of the necessities of life and its only a vocal minority that dissagree

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