Government document reveals National Parks will suffer under O’Farrell’s hunting plan

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Leaked O’Farrell Government documents have confirmed national parks will likely face falling visitor numbers, water contamination and even higher feral predator populations under its legislation to allow amateur hunting in national parks.

The Supplementary Pest Control in Parks Program – Draft Risk Assessment dated February 2013 (p44) confirms leftover animal carcasses will have serious environmental implications for our national parks, including:

Carcasses contaminating streams and water bodies;

Carcasses are likely to provide a supplementary food source to local predators and increase the populations of foxes, cats, wild dogs and pigs in national parks;

The dumping of carcasses near camping areas is likely to cause offensive odours;

An increase of scavenging animals around campgrounds; and

Visible carcasses in camping or day use areas may upset other parks users.

The document also states visitor numbers in national parks could fall because:
“There may still be instances where the impacts of hunting, whether real or perceived, will negatively affect the visitor experience. For example, perceived threat to physical safety causing higher levels of anxiety, or localised noise impacts from firearms.” (p51)

“Legislation allowing amateur hunting in our national parks is dangerous, bad for our environment and must be reversed,” Shadow Environment Minister, Luke Foley said.

“Carcasses left behind by unsupervised hunters have the potential to have a devastating impact on our protected national parks, including contaminating water streams and water bodies.

“The large number of carcasses expected to be left behind by hunters could actually see the population of foxes, wild dogs and pigs increase in our national parks as the feral animals are provided with a new food source.

“It is no wonder the O’Farrell Government expects visitor numbers in our national parks to fall under this disgraceful legislation.

“The Government’s own risk assessment confirms national parks users may be anxious about nearby hunters and will likely be confronted with the sound of localised gunshots, visible carcasses and offensive odours.”