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UnitedFuture delivers for hunters

Media statement
For immediate release
Thursday 25 September 2008

UnitedFuture delivers for hunters

UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne today announced a major victory for the recreational hunting community through the creation of an Establishment Committee to oversee the formation of a Big Game Hunting Council (BGHC).

“UnitedFuture has worked extremely hard under the confidence and supply agreement we have with the Labour Government to have the interests of hunters better recognised,” said Mr Dunne.

“I am thrilled for the long-neglected hunting community that we have managed to achieve the foundation of a truly effective and far-reaching advocacy organisation.

“The BGHC will be a permanent organisation tasked with representing the interests of the hunting community through the coordination of recreational, commercial and guided hunting.

“The BGHC will also sponsor the recognition of big game animals as a major recreational, food and trophy resource while advocating for the interests of its membership directly to the Minister of Conservation and the public generally.”

UnitedFuture can also announce the establishment of a Wild Animal Control Advisory Committee (WACAC).

“The WACAC, while not an advocate body, will be a government-funded committee that will underpin the importance of recreational hunting within government policy.

"It will provide the Minister of Conservation and relevant agencies with advice on the management of wild animals including best practice approaches around the country that increase the overall hunting effort and the effectiveness of hunting as a wild animal control tool.

“UnitedFuture has long held the belief that big game animals are not just the pests the Government will have us think they are.

"Rather they are valued introduced species that deserve a responsible management regime to maximise their recreational benefits without neglecting the environmental challenges that come along with them.

“The BGHC and WACAC will provide both hunters and the Government the means to collaborate on the best way to manage these animals,” said Mr Dunne.


ENDS

UnitedFuture Delivers for Hunters - Fact Sheet:

Big Game Hunting Council (BGHC)

The BGHC will be an overarching body, covering the entire sector, and able to operate cooperatively with existing sector bodies. It will be owned by its membership and be self-funding (such funding may come from membership fees, industry levies and contracting with landowners and managers to undertake hunter management).

The Establishment Committee will recommend to the Minister of Conservation the appropriate structure, functions, funding and operation of the BGHC as a non-statutory body that will address the following issues:

• To advocate for the interests of its membership directly to the Minister of Conservation and to the public generally.

• To encourage participation in hunting and farming of deer, chamois, tahr and wild pigs and gain increased recognition of their agricultural and recreational resource value.

• To co-ordinate recreational hunting, guided hunting, carcass recovery and live capture to reduce conflicts.

• To establish agreed national standards for hunting activities including unsanctioned releases of wild animals and hunting ethics.

• Develop codes of practice for recreational, guided and commercial hunting.

• Conduct research to find where the resource value of wild animals can be enhanced without causing any increase in harm and collaborating with hunters, deer farmers and conservation interests for the best overall outcomes.

The Establishment Committee will comprise of the following membership, chosen through consultation within each sub-sector:

• Recreational deer, tahr and chamois hunting.

• Pig hunting.

• Commercial hunting.

• Safari park operation and deer farming.

• Guiding services to recreational hunters.

The Establishment Committee will be provided with a budget not exceeding $200 000 for a period of not more than two years in order to establish the BGHC.

Wild Animal Control Advisory Committee (WACAC)

The WACAC will provide the Minister of Conservation and relevant agencies with high-level guidance aimed at reducing the harmful effects of deer, chamois, tahr and wild pigs, by providing advice into policy and planning of wild animal management. It will consist of stakeholders and groups with a mandate in wild animal management.

The WACAC will address the following issues - illegal releases, management of commercial hunting, the effectiveness of recreational hunting areas, the circumstances under which deer repellent should be used, regional pest management strategies, optimal conservation/hunting trade-off, data-informed management and recognition of big game animals both as a resource and a threat to indigenous biodiversity.

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