After living under the New South Wales state Labor Government for many, many years, I thought I had seen it all. I don't know, maybe I have been down south too long.
Does allowing children as young as 12 to hunt really seem like a sensible idea?
In one of the more bizarre political moves I have seen in a long time, the NSW state government is considering changes to hunting laws that would allow children aged between 12 and 18 to hunt animals, unsupervised, in State Forests. While that sounds terribly unsafe to me, Brian Boyle from the Game Council of NSW thinks that:
"most people would far sooner see kids out hunting and getting into the natural environment with their parents or family than sitting in front of the computer playing computer games."
He also argues that it will be good for animal welfare, allowing for a clean shot.
NSW Greens MLC David Shoebridge doesn't agree. He argues on his website that:
"Encouraging children to engage in an already cruel and dangerous practice of hunting wild pigs with dogs and knives is an extremely irresponsible act by the government, who know that it will very likely lead to injury of either the children involved or members of the general public."
I have been out of NSW for too long to know how the numbers will fall. But if the bill does get through I anticipate more animal suffering, and very sadly, accidental human shootings.
Another one to watch!