Shooting: effective, proven pest control
Shooting is an effective pest control program, a fact borne out by a Pestsmart project that targeted foxes over a five-year period.
In an 8500ha area of mixed rural, peri-rural and urban land on the NSW South Coast, shooting was the primary means of successfully controlling the fox population.
Trapping was also used, but 1080 poisoning could not be carried out in the control area for a number of reasons, including strong local opposition to the practice, and so was limited to surrounding areas.
The outcome of the project resoundingly supported shooting as an effective and publicly acceptable method.
“Group fox shooting programs can be effective if correctly done,” a report on the program stated.
Shooting “was acceptable to both rural and urban landholders”.
“The choice of shooting rather than 1080 baiting resulted in many more landholders participating and a larger, more continuous area being controlled.”
The program employed a professional shooter, but then ended when funding ran out, allowing foxes to re-establish in the region.
Similar fox-control programs can be handled by volunteer Conservation Hunters, operating under similar conditions but at no cost to taxpayers or ratepayers.
The only cost carried by government would be the establishment and co-ordination of Conservation Hunting Groups by the NSW Game Council, on organisation that has already been shown by independent research to provide an overall cost benefit to NSW worth several times its budget.
The Pestsmart report on fox control makes it obvious that the current NSW government approach of centralised pest control – the kind of failed system managed by the NPWS, for example – needs to be scrapped.
It found great benefits in community-level programs.
“Community ownership of the program led to increased support from the full range of landholders in the area,” it noted.
Conservation Hunting is not only effective but crucial to a broad-ranging attack on feral animals in NSW.
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 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?
Professionals always leave seed animals so they can come back again and again, as their livelihood depends on it.
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.
Read the full report on the Pestsmart program here.
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