Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Government may OK Children to Hunt in National Parks

The NSW Government may allow children as young as 12 to hunt in national parks, perhaps using bows and arrows or muskets.  This surprise development has emerged from amongst leaked outcomes of a meeting held yesterday between officers of the Office of Environment and Heritage and those of the Game Council.

“The Environment Minister, Robyn Parker, must guarantee that children will not be allowed to hunt in any national park.  Any proposed hunting also must not allow the use of bows and arrows or black powder weapons.  These are unsafe and inhumane practices totally unsuited for pest control operations, especially those in national parks”, said Keith Muir, director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. 

“Premier Barry O’Farrell promised strict conditions, and assured the community that the Minister Parker and her National Park officers would have ultimate control over where, when and how volunteer recreational shooting will take place in our parks”, Keith Muir said.

“The State Government's own risk assessment on volunteer hunting in NSW national parks has warned that recreational hunting puts park users at risk of being shot or injured.  Allowing children, mussel loading firearms or bows and arrows in what are supposed to be pest control operations would greatly magnify the risks of injury or death,” he said.

“Barrel loading muskets, the so-called black powder weapons, are highly inaccurate hobby firearms.  These replicas of ancient weapons are totally unsuited for pest control,” Mr Muir said.

“The Colong Foundation reiterates its total opposition to recreational hunting in national parks, and especially when it unsupervised by National Park officers.  The public needs to know before Easter how this hazardous hunting adventure is going to be implemented in our parks”, said Mr Muir.

For more information contact: Keith Muir, (02) 9261 2400 (wk) or 0412 791 404 (mob)