Article by: Hari Yellina
Sporting shooters and hunters claim that by controlling feral animal populations, they can help lower the incidence of foot-and-mouth disease. Without counting farmers who shot pests on their lands, a Department of Health analysis from 2018 indicated that there were roughly 640,000 recreational hunters and shooters in Australia. Charles Wallis, president of the South East Field and Game Association, said that hunters may collaborate with landowners, businesses, and the government to eradicate feral pigs and deer. Hunters would offer whatever assistance if requested, he said. If needed, there is no doubt that the expertise and skill are present. Any effort to eradicate feral animals, according to Mr. Wallis, would involve “a vast amount of coordination” and should ideally be a national endeavour.
Many organisations, he noted, including [the Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia] and Field and Game, have a proven track record of working with farmers and eradicating feral animals in national parks. Any widespread cull of pigs and deer, according to Mr. Wallis, would also require the assistance of the business sector, particularly owners of forest plantations. “I believe that the planning process needs to start right away,” he remarked. He expressed his wish that Australia will never have foot-and-mouth disease. But if it does, we must be ready beforehand, he added According to Mr. Wallis, it would be acceptable to take into account out-of-pocket expenses when the price of ammunition increased and availability for hunters grew more difficult.
He stated, “I believe shooters would want to ensure that matters like insurance, liability, access, and permissions were covered off, and perhaps consideration toward remuneration for ammunition and associated expenditures. Nicola Centofanti, a shadow minister for rural South Australia, stated that her party supported a national cull. She stated, “I believe we need a national, coordinated approach where all stakeholders come to the table and we look at killing feral species like pigs and deer.” “I’m also requesting that more money be allocated by the federal government to eradication programmes.” The disease would spread quickly, according to Ms. Centofanti, a veterinarian by profession, if it were to break out in the community of feral animals.
It would be nearly impossible for us to contain the virus, she added, if foot-and-mouth disease were to infect our community of feral animals. Because wild animals cross borders, it is crucial that we work with neighbouring states and the federal government. She said that sporting shooting and hunting organisations may be used nationally in control initiatives. There is a genuine desire in the community right now, according to the spokeswoman, to support our livestock farmers and take the necessary precautions to reduce the likelihood of a foot-and-mouth outbreak.