Shooters answer feral animal cull call in face of foot-and-mouth disease


         There are about 640,000 licensed hunters and sporting shooters in Australia

         There are calls for national feral animal cull

         There are about 2 million feral deer and 24 million feral pigs in Australia


By Liz Rymill, ABC South East SA (Australia)

Jul 28, 2022


Hunters and sporting shooters say they could help to cull feral animal populations and reduce the risk of foot-and-mouth disease.


A 2018 Department of Health report found there were about 640,000 recreational hunters and shooters in Australia, not including farmers who shot pests on their properties.


South East Field and Game Association president Charles Wallis said hunters could work with landowners, the commercial sector and the government to cull feral pigs and deer.


"If called upon, hunters would assist in any way they could," he said.


"Certainly the expertise is there and the skill is there, if they are called upon."


Mr Wallis said any effort to cull feral animals would require "a massive amount of coordination" and would ideally need to be a national undertaking.


"There's a number of groups like [the Sporting Shooters' Association of Australia] and Field and Game that have a solid track record of working with farmers and in national parks, exterminating feral animals," he said.


Broad support ...