Animals Australia today condemned a proposed NSW regulation that would allow children under 12 to kill animals with hunting bows and engage in one of the most violent forms of hunting known as pig -dogging.
The proposed Game and Wildlife Control (NSW) Regulations 2022 would for the first time allow young children to obtain licenses to hunt with both bows and hunting dogs under parental supervision while allowing children between the ages of 16 and 18 to do so without supervision.
“What century are we in? said Animals Australia spokeswoman Lyn White. “Most Australians would be horrified to allow child hunters to kill animals in a slow and brutal way for so-called sport.
“This absurd proposal would open the door to both unimaginable animal cruelty as well as extreme psychological harm to children.”
Last year, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child recognized the harmful effects on children caused by witnessing animal abuse due to their empathy with animal sentience. The committee recommended not exposing children to “violent traditions” involving the killing of animals. Adverse effects on a child exposed to animal abuse can include an erosion of empathy and a normalization of violence that can later lead to domestic violence and child abuse in adulthood.
The controversial practice of pig-dogging involves releasing packs of trained “pig dogs” to hunt and mutilate a hunted wild pig. Dogs, too, are often gored during the hunt, culminating in the hunter stabbing the wild pig through the heart or shooting it at point-blank range.
“Allowing young children to inflict slow, often painful deaths on animals with bows or knives or to watch animals viciously mauled by hunting dogs amounts to child abuse,” Ms White said.
“This draft regulation completely ignores the protection of animals from cruelty or the protection of children from psychological harm.
“While community sentiment in 2022 is strongly opposed to cruelty to animals for any reason, some fringe interest groups want to roll us back by sanctioning heinous practices.”
Child hunters would lack the precision, strength and skills to minimize the suffering of the animals they kill or injure. Hunters are expected to humanely pursue and kill mutilated animals and their dependent young, which young hunters may not want or be able to do.
The use of bows is even crueler than firearms for hunting as it often results in a slow and excruciating death as animals bleed to death from their body wounds. Bowhunters aim for the heart rather than the head because the skull deflects arrows. Many injured deer (up to half of those targeted) will escape hunters only to die protractedly from their wounds.
Proposed Game and Wildlife Control Regulations 2022 would also allow more deer to be killed during longer times of the year, further reduce monitoring of hunter behavior by increasing the maximum length of hunting licenses by five to 10 years and reduce fines for aberration. behavior of hunters, such as the practice of target shooting on public lands.
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