Opening weekend in Victoria this year prompted Field & Game Australia (FGA) to hold a forum with hunting community leaders to help identify areas of focus for the future of hunting. We’ve previously shared these areas of focus with our members, and have distributed that report to government departments and agencies. FGA were invited to discuss these issues with representatives from government, agencies, and other organisations; this took place yesterday.
FGA's history with, and respect for, hunting; our continued direct engagement with hunters; our year-round commitment to duck season; and our significant investment of resources over opening weekend places us in an unrivalled position to represent the interests of game bird hunters across Australia.
Some of the issues identified can be addressed by improved regulation, and fall squarely under the Game Management Authority’s area of responsibility. However, others are more wide-ranging, and not confined to regulation.
Going forward, there are a range of measures being considered to ensure that hunting remains safe, sustainable, humane and responsible.
Challenges remain, such as where there are multiple agencies providing advice to government, and where negative attitudes or perceptions of hunting are held. This has the potential for conflicting advice to be given, or recommendations made due to this perception of hunters and hunting; in turn these create an environment where hunting is managed through exclusion on a site-by-site basis.
However, within Victorian Government, there has been greater demonstrated support for hunting, investing in the pastime that delivered $439 million to the Victorian economy in 2013. The Sustainable Hunting Action Plan is one part of this investment.
FGA are continuing to work for outcomes for duck season in Victoria. We’ve got more information on these issues, and what we're doing to ensure the future of hunting, in the August issue of Field & Game magazine.