South Australia bans bowhunting
Speak up against the bowhunting ban in South Australia
Our archery-hunting friends in South Australia are shouldering the burden of “one bad apple ruins the whole bunch.” Or in this case, three bad apples.
Three instances of individual ignorance involving the injury of a police officer and the separate deaths of a domestic cat and sea lion, all by compound bows and arrows, have resulted in the South Australian government banning all bow hunting in the state.
Member of Parliament, Susan Close, led the charge on the ban, which has not yet gone into effect.
First, let’s go on record and say that these three people who woke up and chose stupidity should be punished to the full extent of the law.
But roughly 61,000 people hunt in South Australia, or roughly 3% of the population. This is a group that contributes approximately $169 million annually to the economy. Even though this includes all hunting methods, there is significant overlap among hunters between methods.
Cutting off the bow hunting community is a short-sighted, knee-jerk reaction that has far more negative economic impacts than any feel-good, “justice for George the cat” closure a small handful of people need.
As the ban currently stands, target shooting is not banned, so individuals may purchase any type of archery equipment for that purpose. Considering that, in all three of the incidents listed above, the arrows all had practice/field-tips, the exception for target shooting is telling.
The ban has less to do with the danger that arrows shot from bows present, and more to do with animal welfare — wild and domestic — and emotion.
What is being swept under the rug, however, is the damage that this ban will do to the guides and outfitters, shop owners and manufacturers, and local businesses, as well as to the pocketbooks of people who rely on hunting to help reduce their grocery bill.
Under South Australian hunting regs, bow hunting was legal with a Basic Hunting Permit and included feral animals, such as rabbits, foxes, goats, and pigs, along with unprotected native animals — primarily birds and wild dogs. It is illegal to hunt or take native animals, like the kangaroo, protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972.
Even though the ban has yet to actually take effect, it is unlikely that its course will be reversed — at least in the short term.
With consistent, focused, and rational pressure, though, there is an opportunity to effect change in the years to come and hopefully bring bow hunting back to South Australia. The best thing to do is make our voice heard loud and clear — even if we are on the other side of the globe.
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Let’s help our hunting friends in South Australia and tell the Members of South Australia’s Parliament that the ban on bow hunting is simply not a sustainable or equitable move and that it needs to be revisited without the engine of emotion driving the issue.
We worked closely with partners in South Australia to deliver this content.
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