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  1. #1
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    Australia : National Park users worried about being shot by stray bullets from hunter

    National Park users worried about being shot by stray bullets from hunters
    Matt Young
    April 10, 2013



    VISITORS to NSW National Parks soon face the stark realisation that they could be shot. Literally.

    A deal struck between the O'Farrell Government and the Shooters and Fishers party to allow amateur and recreational hunting in NSW National Parks has the public concerned and has set a dangerous precedent for other states.

    The Game and Feral Animal control Act aims to reduce numbers of feral animals by allowing shooting into the State's National Parks.

    A poll commissioned by NSW state MP Alex Greenwich questioning the support of hunting in NSW National Parks showed 63.2 per cent of New South Wales residents opposed the decision, while 22.8 per cent were in favour.

    "We’re worried, a lot of bushwalkers are," Bushwalking NSW President David Trinder told news.com.au.

    "It’s a common conversation topic; bushwalkers are afraid that the native animals might be shot and that they’ll cop a stray bullet as well."

    Fifty of the 77 designated hunting parks will not be supervised, and Greenwich is backing concerned citizens who feel their safety is at risk.

    "The community is gravely concerned about the impact this will have on the families, eco-tourists and bushwalkers who value the safety of our national parks," he said.

    "National parks should not be turned into shooting grounds where hunters kill and maim animals for fun while ruining peace with gun shots and putting visitors at risk.

    "The question for the Premier is whether his priority is community safety or keeping a micro party appeased by implementing dangerous policies."

    NSW Environment Minister Robyn Parker defended the program, saying feral animals caused more than $600 million damage to agricultural land across Australia.

    "In short, they wreak havoc. People who are very connected to farming communities understand the damage feral animals cause to stock and wildlife.

    "Over 40,000 feral animals were destroyed or removed through pest management from the national parks system in 2010/2011 and more than 50,000 were removed and destroyed in 2011/2012, including 15,000 pigs, 34,000 goats, over a thousand wild dogs, 2,700 foxes, 240 cats and 670 deer.

    "Next year, with supplementary pest control measures, the Government aims to better those numbers which will help the health of our parks, our threatened species and our natural ecosystems."

    But the public aren't the only ones concerned, with the Public Service Association (PSA), which represents national parks staff, requesting bright orange bullet proof vests from the NSW Government to be issued as a standard safety measure.

    This comes after the embarrassing revelations last week that the man in charge of the body that oversees hunting in NSW National Parks was charged with illegal hunting and trespassing.

    It’s alleged Game Council NSW acting chief Greg McFarland was involved in the shooting of a goat at a property in Mount Hope in western NSW last December, which contradicts the council’s own guidelines on humane hunting.

    "With the acting Chief Executive Officer of the Game Council facing a string of firearms and illegal hunting charges, the public can have little confidence that this pro-hunting lobby group can safely regulate any form of hunting on public land," NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge said.

    The green light on hunting has been delayed until approximately June, until the Game Council NSW, who are overseeing the program, makes a sufficient review.

    In the meantime, Minister Parker says The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is finalising a risk assessment for the program “which will be the most rigorous and comprehensive risk assessment of its type ever undertaken on public land in Australia.

    "The risk assessment will be independently peer-reviewed and continuously updated to ensure it meets the highest standards.

    "The Government recently announced a five year $19.1 million funding package, including funding to bolster strict safety measures, to ensure the Supplementary Pest Control program is properly resourced. The package includes additional resources for monitoring and review to ensure the program has a positive impact on feral animal populations in protected areas.

    "Safety is paramount."

    news.com.au

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by news.com.au
    "Safety is paramount."
    Clock is ticking .....................

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    You have to wonder at times, who comes up with these ideas. Farmers won't allow strangers on their land shooting. Why, because the hunters sometimes shoot their stock by mistake.
    Now if a hunter can not tell the difference between a feral pig and a sheep, what chance does a person or native wild life have in thick scrub.
    It's a big country and plenty of places to go hunting that are not national parks. Jim

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    feral cats in Australia

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    I know a few hunters and their policy is to always have a direct line of sight on a confirmed target before shooting. It's legal to shoot very close to public footpaths, bridle paths and roads in the UK, and I've never heard of a walker being shot mistakenly.

    Unless it's very different in Oz, and hunters just randomly shoot at anything moving in the bushes I can't see it being a problem...seems to me it's probably another case of city folk who don't understand the ways of the countryside worrying about nothing.

    I accept though, I don't know much about Oz in this respect so may be wrong.

  7. #7
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    Wear a bright vest

  8. #8
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    What paranoid pathetic fear mongering.

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