LAST UPDATED: 30 June 2015
Animals including rabbits, deer, ducks and goats who call WA's much-loved and visited national parks home — and millions of people who enjoy these parks for their natural beauty — can breathe easier. WA's Environment Minister has announced that the state Government rejected a plan to trial recreational shooting of 'pest' animals on public land.
A WA Government Committee proposed the trial — originally suggested by a Shooters & Fishers MP — but the government shot it down, noting the serious dangers to public safety posed by shooters.
Hundreds of Animals Australia supporters expressed their views during the public consultation, and their voices on behalf of animals made a big impact! In announcing the decision, Environment Minister Albert Jacob noted concerns about animal welfare, as well as the lack of evidence that recreational shooting was effective in managing populations of introduced animals.
Much of the State's south-west is heavily visited and used by tourists and local residents, and their safety in accessing these areas is paramount... Other reasons for this decision include effectiveness of pest animal control, animal welfare issues and the significant resources required to establish and administer trials such as the one recommended by the committee.Albert Jacob, MLC, WA Environment Minister
Each year during the recreational duck shooting season in Victoria, waterbirds face carnage on their usually peaceful wetlands. An estimated one in four birds shot is left to suffer the agony of shattered bones or serious internal injury — a fate that countless animals in Western Australian national parks will now be spared.
Shooters often claim that recreational hunting helps manage numbers of introduced animals, but this simply doesn't hold up in the face of evidence.
And, regardless, allowing amateur shooters to hunt in vast, largely unmonitored areas puts animals at grave risk of cruelty.
Significantly, not all members of the government Committee wanted to propose a trial of shooting in national parks in the first place. Amber-Jade Sanderson MLC and Darren West MLC submitted their own 'minority report' to say that recreational shooting should not be allowed on WA public land.
The majority report seeks to present recreational shooting on public land as having potential benefit to the environment and tourism industries. Based on evidence presented to the committee a minority of the committee does not support this. We therefore reject the conclusions, findings and recommendations of the report.Amber-Jade Sanderson MLC & Darren West MLC
Thanks to the efforts of caring West Australians, the state's national parks will remain what they should be: beautiful sanctuaries for people and animals alike, not hunting grounds for a tiny percentage of the community that chooses to kill for 'sport'.