RSPCA SA Welcomes Extension Of Bow Hunting Ban

Arrows can go into inanimate targets only, not sentient living creatures

A state government ban on the use of bows and crossbows to hunt animals is to be extended to all animals – whether they are on public or private land – under legislation that is expected to come into effect later this year.

The extension of the existing ban to include animals on private land (where the recreational activity often takes place) has been welcomed by RSPCA South Australia. Australian Codes of Practice for the humane destruction of animals (feral and otherwise) never recommend the use of bows or crossbows because experts do not classify bows as humane killing instruments. The most humane, government-recognised method for the killing of most feral species is a head-shot from a high-powered rifle, by a competent shooter within a monitored program.[1]

“The RSPCA’s view is that it is unethical to use a less humane method of killing when a more humane method is available,” RSPCA SA Animal Welfare Advocate Dr Rebekah Eyers said.

“This recreational activity is opposed by most members of our community, and we are relieved that the state government will soon extend its legal protection to prevent all animals, with no exceptions, from suffering the prolonged, painful death often associated with being shot by a bow.

“Arrows or bolts should only be fired at inanimate targets, not live animals, and we thank our political leaders for recognising this.”

The ban will be introduced via amended laws within the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972. The agencies responsible for enforcement of this Act are staff from the Department for Environment and Water (DEW) and SA Police.

RSPCA SA CEO Marcus Gehrig said the state government’s decision demonstrated that community opinion was being taken into account around what is and is not acceptable treatment of animals.

“This extension of the ban to all animals has come as a result of feedback from our community to the original ban, which enabled bows and crossbows to still be used for hunting on private land,” Mr Gehrig said.

“We applaud the state government for its decision, which isn’t just a win for animal welfare but also safeguards the reputation of archers who use bows on registered archery ranges, and do not want their sport tarnished by animal cruelty reports.”

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