As we’ve reported previously, Field & Game Australia has engaged leaders across the hunting community and continues to be at the forefront of representations and discussions of duck hunting culture and behavior across jurisdictions.
The Department of Primary Industries in NSW have been reviewing its approach to utilising hunters for crop protection, and invited FGA to participate and contribute to the discussion. We were also invited to share our intensive focus and work on waterfowl, wetland conservation, and hunting around Australia.
FGA is concerned that the Shotgunning Education Program (SEP) continues to be promoted by sections of the hunting community as a “silver bullet” to illegal, unethical and irresponsible hunter behaviour. This approach is being propagated without any foundation or evidence of how compulsory SEP would contribute to better outcomes. FGA will always seek policy that is based on facts and data. It’s unclear what purpose is served by the promotion of an education workshop in isolation of any supporting facts and data, other than creating an unsubstantiated impost on hunters and further restrictions on hunting.
FGA is committed to hunter education, including the SEP, as part of a wider investment in the future of sustainable, responsible and ethical hunting. We also support proper resourcing of regulatory authorities, a more holistic approach to hunter education as a key role of the regulators, and more effective compliance operations, which all have a role to play.
FGA reiterates again it does not excuse or condone unethical, irresponsible or illegal hunting, and recognises it is a complex issue. This is why we’ve been working continuously to develop effective solutions that improves the ethicacy and sustainability of hunting, sharing the lessons learned from highly regulated hunting seasons. We are conscious any solution must not penalise the vast majority of hunters who are already complying fully.