Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia Executive Officer Rod Drew claims new proposed ACT Government regulations will kill off centuries old cultural practices, with additional clauses that outlaw the participation of hounds in hunting and retriever training activities.
“This is a twist in the war on Australia’s hunting peoples, who come from all walks of life and who practice their traditional cultures in an already extremely tightly controlled framework,” Mr Drew says.
“These new clauses will kill off hunting in the ACT and have the potential to threaten what is a multi-billion-dollar ethical harvest and tourism industry – and it makes us wonder what’s next? Will farmers be banned from using sheep dogs?”
The relationship between humans and their dogs is a deeply complex and emotional one, with hunters and hounds spending many years honing skills through on-farm work, competitions and permitted activities.
The proposed legislation would decimate the Australian National Kennel Council’s approved retrieving and field trial event, with some of our nation’s most respected trialers residing and training in the ACT. If enacted, ACT will become the only jurisdiction in Australia where these legitimate activities would be banned.
“Australia has a significant and ongoing problem with foreign species invading our natural habitats, raiding our farms and threatening the safety of our communities. It is senseless that the ACT government would seek to disallow scent trailing hounds and retrievers when they are such an effective and valued part of pest control activities,” Mr Drew says.
The Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia is a staunch advocate for the legal and regulated private ownership of firearms for hunting and recreation, and is active in research, education and safety promotion.
“This regulation not only rides roughshod over the important contribution of hounds to the health and wellbeing of our Australian communities but oversteps the ACT government’s Canadian Consultant Recommendations on which it pretends to be based,” says SIFA’s Laura Patterson.
“Section 17 of the regulations should be immediately rewritten to preserve the important contribution to community safety and ecological conservation that hound activities represent,” she says.