A knee-jerk reaction by Liberal MP Jason Wood calling for a ban on ‘canned’ hunting imports, an already illegal activity, will help poachers capitalise on struggling rural communities.
Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia Special Projects Officer in Hunting Matthew Godson said Mr Wood’s misguided campaign had him perplexed.
“A ban like this would stupidly make life for poachers easier, as they capitalise on those communities relying on legal trophy hunting revenue for a better quality of life,” he said.
“Highly regulated hunting systems, such as those found in Zimbabwe, will be negatively impacted by this ban, and as a result, poaching syndicates will gain new opportunities to further slaughter wildlife.”
‘Canned’ hunting and any related exports are already deemed illegal under the international wildlife treaty, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), suggesting Jason Wood is leading towards banning legal trophy hunting by association.
Large captive-bred wildlife conservation programs provide income incentives for local communities to manage wildlife sustainably and are supported by CITES, and animal products are regulated through this treaty of which Australia has been a party to since 1976.
“The CAMPFIRE program in Zimbabwe over many years has enabled the financial benefits of sustainable use to improve wildlife conservation and provide a mechanism to reduce poaching,” Matthew said.
“‘Canned’ hunting is already an illegal activity in South Africa and you cannot legally export products from such unethical hunts.
“The SSAA would support Australian Government efforts to protect the future of international wildlife by focusing efforts on the problem, illegal poaching and the illegal trade of wildlife.”