South Australians are reminded that any hunting of pest animals on public land without written authority is prohibited, following recent concerns over public safety and shootings of livestock.
Last month, several instances of deer being shot on deer farms and beheaded for their antlers in the Adelaide Hills were reported to SA Police. It follows further incidents of livestock being shot by illegal hunters.
Motion activated cameras have been deployed on public land in trouble areas to catch illegal hunters in the act. Heavy penalties apply.
A coordinated State Government led team involving Primary Industries & Regions SA (PIRSA), South Australian Police (SAPOL), Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR), ForestrySA and SA Water are working together to address illegal hunting reports.
Quotes attributable to PIRSA Biosecurity Executive Director, Will Zacharin
While pest animals are a serious threat to South Australia’s primary industries and the natural environment, illegal hunting poses a more serious threat to public safety.
The State Government has controlled measures in place to reduce the impact of pest animals, but ensuring public safety is paramount.
Quotes attributable to South Australian Police spokesperson
SAPOL remind the public of the dangers of misusing firearms and wish to reinforce that heavy penalties apply for those persons found in possession of firearms when not authorised or where the firearm is unregistered.
Quotes attributable to DEWNR Director of Regional Programs, Grant Pelton
In South Australia, hunters must obtain a permit from DEWNR to be allowed to hunt feral pests, along with permission from private land holders or the relevant public land management agency to hunt on their land.
There are strict rules in place for a reason – to protect public safety, protected species and the environment.
Quotes attributable to Forestry SA Chief Executive, Jerome Coleman
ForestrySA has recently suspended all hunting on its land due to a range of safety issues. The level of illegal hunting has increased and we are constantly recording forest incidents in relation to this matter.
A recent example involved a gateway being destroyed to illegally gain forest access, before the vehicle became bogged leaving substantial environmental damage. A decapitated deer was also left for our Forest Rangers to address.
We fully support our fellow government agencies in their response to illegal hunting.
All hunting in South Australia is regulated under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 and the National Parks and Wildlife (Hunting) Regulations 2011 and you must obtain a basic hunting permit to do so.
For more information about obtaining hunting pest animals and obtaining a hunting permit visit www.environment.sa.gov.au