The worst fears of feral pest hunters have been realised after the State Labor Government revealed the use of dogs for pig hunting could be discussed under its review of animal welfare laws.
In a letter to Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto, Agricultural Industry Development Minister Mark Furner admitted that the government’s review into the Animal Care and Protection Act has scope to go beyond what was outlined in the review’s discussion paper.
“The Minister has confirmed the whole of the Act is under review, including matters like the use of dogs in pig hunting that are not mentioned in the discussion paper. This should worry every feral pest hunter out there,” Mr Dametto said.
“That’s why Katter’s Australian Party moved quickly to highlight the issue in recent weeks and why I’ve sponsored a petition that calls on the House to do all within its power to prevent a legislative ban on dogs, trapping, baiting, and shooting for controlling feral or pest animals.
“People should now be under no illusions as to what exactly the review is or isn’t looking at. Everything in the Act is on the table and hunters and those involved in feral pest management need to ensure their voice is heard.”
Mr Dametto said he was also concerned about the Minister’s language in the letter regarding the government’s commitment to providing legislation and standards which met “community expectations”.
“This is very similar language to what the RSPCA used recently when commenting on the review. Again, I ask whose community expectations does this important method of feral pest management not meet? Is it just animal liberation groups in the south-east who are guided by ideology instead of facts?
“The government is not giving anyone in the industry confidence with their attitude surrounding this review. Katter’s Australian Party will fight against any changes to the Animal Care and Protection Act that will ban any existing method used to manage feral pests in Queensland.
“Pig hunters need to be recognised for the important role they play in protecting our state’s flora and fauna. Thousands of hunting enthusiasts act as volunteer pest managers across the State. To prevent the use of dogs for this purpose would hamstring our hunters and spell absolute disaster for managing the feral pest population.”
The parliamentary e-petition will close on May 24 after which it will be assigned to the relevant Minister for a response within 30 days. To sign the petition, click here.
Queenslanders can also make a submission to the review up until Friday May 21 by visiting biosecurity.qld.gov.au and searching for ‘ACPA review’ to complete the survey or submit a written response.