It was a battle of David and Goliath proportions but facts and science have won the day for South Australian hunters and a sustainable native bird harvest. The knockout blow came via 11 recommendations from the State Government’s review of native bird-hunting in SA. The fallout since the release of Report of the Select Committee on Hunting Native Birds earlier this month has given the green light for gamebird hunting in the state to continue.
But true to form the Greens and RSPCA are refusing to accept the umpire’s decision. Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia (SSAA Inc) Wildlife Biologist Matt Godson said the recommendations were clear-cut when it came to bird numbers and a managed sustainable harvest by hunters. “Although there are some interesting recommendations to work through, the important thing is people will still be able to choose to hunt duck and quail in SA during open seasons,” he said.
The hunting community’s efforts including those of individuals and collective impact of members of the Conservation and Hunting Alliance of South Australia (CHASA) which includes the SSAA, is to be commended according to Mr Godson. “Facts and science have won the day but we have not won the war yet,” he said. “The hunting community will have work hard to help the government refine and then implement the recommendations to alleviate community concerns around animal welfare.
“Many of the concerns around animal welfare are the result of inaccurate information and unsubstantiated claims made by animal rights groups. Tweaks to the code of practice and hunter education will hopefully enable the wider community to continue providing hunters with their social licence to operate. The sourcing of clean and healthy free-range food is something any Australian, first, new or old should have the right to do.”