The Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia (SSAA National) Inc is launching its Be Part of the Solution campaign and is calling on new and existing members to help control Australia’s most damaging introduced species. SSAA National is determined to focus public attention on the impacts of foxes, rabbits, feral cats, dogs, pigs and goats on our native species and rural community. The latest estimates by the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre indicate that the direct economic impact of introduced animals in Australia has now exceeded $743 million per year.
To launch the campaign, SSAA National has designed and implemented a billboard at Canberra Airport and posters around public locations in Melbourne’s CBD. The image of a fox has been used for the campaign because this animal has been identified as one of Australia’s most damaging introduced species, impacting both our small native wildlife and livestock.
SSAA National understands that to get serious about reducing the impact of problem species, the community needs to pull up its sleeves and get involved. The general public needs to acknowledge that there is no one simple solution to control Australia’s problem species and that strategies that use a variety of management methods have higher chances of success. The use of volunteer resources can certainly improve the outcome of wildlife management activities.
The majority of the SSAA’s 120,000 members across the country have a specific skill set that can be utilised as a valuable volunteer resource. Shooting provides a target-specific control option that can be used in conjunction with other management tools to enhance the results of any control program.
SSAA National has a long and proud history of participating in conservation work that has achieved positive environmental and economic outcomes. The recent expansion of broader scale programs involving partnerships with state governments and other hunting organisations, such as the Victorian Fox Stop program, will provide opportunities for more hunters to become part of the solution.
SSAA members are obliged to follow The Hunters Code when participating in hunting activities. This code requires members to engage in safe firearm practices and that animal welfare considerations are taken into account during all activities. The culling or removal of any animal does not imply that an animal can be mistreated in any way. Every animal must be respected and treated appropriately.