Hunters defended in passionate Senate speech

Recreational hunting and hunters were defended in an address to the nation’s politicians this month when Victorian Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie used her time in the Senate to speak out against the attacks on Glenn McGrath over controversial hunting photos from 2008.

Senator McKenzie described the response to the photos of McGrath from a 2008 overseas hunting trip by some as ‘abhorrent’, condemning the vilification of McGrath and hunters at large, particularly on social media. McKenzie spoke about the ‘constant demonisation’ that hunters and recreational shooters face, and outlined the contributions that hunters make to conservation and the economy.

The Senator pointed to the many social, cultural, environmental and economic benefits of hunting, saying: “There are incredible conservation benefits from hunting. It brings economic, social and environmental benefits - these are recognised worldwide through international conventions and the like. Hunting delivers $200 million dollars a year to New Zealand, and $200 million is delivered to the African economy as a result of trophy hunting - $200 million a year to the poorest continent on earth. That flows right through not only to the national economy but also down onto the ground and to villages that run conservation projects and manage animals sustainably.”

Senator McKenzie’s speech follows other public support for McGrath and recreational hunters, including from keen hunter and Extreme Huntress competitor Christie Pisani, who is no stranger herself to negative feedback about her chosen recreation, and Adelaide Advertiser journalist Nicole Flintt.

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