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NSW Minister Hodgkinson asked to stop laws permitting 12 year olds to attack animals

The World League for the Protection of Animals has expressed alarm at a proposed new New South Wales law that would permit children as young as 12, unaccompanied, to pursue and kill with weapons animals declared feral in National Parks.

"New laws proposed in New South Wales are set to allow children as young as 12, armed with bows and arrows, dogs, and knives, to hunt feral animals without adult supervision. The new guidelines have been drawn up by the NSW Game Council, the State Government body which regulates hunting. Children are already allowed to hunt feral animals, but they cannot do it alone." Adam Harvey, "12-year-olds to be allowed to hunt alone."

Dear Minister Hodgkinson,

We urge you to put your support behind our defenceless animals who have no voice, no guns and no way of defending themselves, whilst simultaneously protecting the citizens of NSW and disallowing any legislation that would permit 12 year olds to attack animals. The Game Feral Animal Control Regulations (2004) are to expire on 1st September , which is why we are relying on your government to protect the broader community and not the Shooters Party. Already we have the Game Council that is subsidised by the tax payer and represents only the interests of The Shooters Party and The Firearms Control Committee that is represented almost entirely by the pro gun lobby. There is no government committee that is established to represents the interests of the environment or the animals that depend on these environments for their future survival.

We strongly oppose any measures to permit minors to hunt with knives, bows and arrows and pig dogs for these reasons:

* Such practises are inhumane and unacceptable to any 'civilised' society.
* These children will not be supervised by rangers, adults or any authority as far as we are aware. Why would your government want to endorse such unpoliced activities ?
* Children will not be required to carry written permission with them and further be given 48 hrs to produce written 'permission'. This is unbelievable and something which the citizens of this state would not accept, if they knew about it.
* The use of bows and arrows, bowie knives and pig dogs in the practice of hunting any animals whether they be introduced or not, is simply brutal and inhumane. The cruelty inflicted upon these helpless animals can not be condoned by any society arguing it is in fact humane and progressive.
* What will happen to all those animals wounded and injured? Unnecessary pain and suffering witnessed in the practice of blood 'sports' should be eliminated and prohibited.
* To encourage and allow children to act in such a cruel and irresponsible way is both dangerous to the voiceless animals and to the children involved.
* Such a proposal is a concession to the Shooters and Fishers Party that have only their own interests at heart.
* An extra 142 State Forests were 'opened' to the Shooters Party for some 10 years which was done at the expense of the rest of the NSW community. These state forests were once prohibited to shooters, but now native fauna in these once relatively quite and safe places have no place to hide. Our native fauna can not afford to lose more valuable yet shrinking habitat.

We implore you to prohibit such reckless and dangerous behaviours and not to allow these practices to become law. Your government has this opportunity to establish it's commitment and concern to the broader community by protecting us all from the Shooters Party.

Yours sincerely

Lindy Stacker
World League for the Protection of Animals
PO Box 211 Gladesville 2111


Ed. The comment that was here has been unpublished because it made an allegation about the perpetrator of a fatal incident. The commenter did not provide documentation, which would need to be of forensic standard anyway and in a context of due process (which cannot provide). The impact of such allegations could cause immense distress.

Apart from this the comment was about control of bows and arrows and the right of the public to know if children were using them.