Impact of illegal deer hunting raised in Parliament

Thursday 7 September 2017

Concerns regarding Illegal deer hunting in Harrietville were raised by Nationals Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy in Parliament this week.

Responding to the inquiry into the control of invasive animals on Crown land, Mr McCurdy told Parliament he had recently been contacted by a Harrietville resident.

“The resident has concerns with the number of sambar deer but more recently has developed a greater concern with the deer hunters,” Mr McCurdy said.

“They use high-powered weapons in close proximity to Harrietville, around homes. The resident cited a recent example of a sambar deer that was shot next to Harrietville Primary School, which is right in the centre of town, during the middle of the night.”

The head was removed as a trophy and the body left in the residential front yard.

“These are the types of examples we are getting in close proximity to towns and our smaller communities,” he said.

“There is another example of four sambar deer being shot at Smoko. Again the heads were removed as trophies and the bodies left to rot.”

Mr McCurdy said local residents understood recreational hunting was a method of reducing the sambar deer population but illegal hunters were breaking all the rules and making them feel unsafe.

He said there were two important recommendations from the inquiry that he would pursue on behalf of residents impacted by illegal deer hunting:

That Victoria Police and the Game Management Authority work collaboratively to better monitor and educate the community on reporting mechanisms for illegal hunting activity and;

That the government ensure all coordinated recreational hunting programs are appropriately supervised, involve wide consultation, are well advertised, are rigorously evaluated and are transparent to ensure the concerns and needs of communities are addressed.

“I will certainly be writing to the minister to seek an update on the progress of these recommendations as we move forward,” he said.

Mr McCurdy also said police resources needed to be increased to crack down on illegal hunting so smaller communities could feel safe while still allowing hunting to continue.

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