For Dog’s sake let’s shoot these ferals
He’s the poster boy for bogans, sporting a mullet that would make Warwick Capper blush and has a wife who obviously shares the same hair stylist; however I’d wager there are a lot of guys and girls out there who would love to have Dog the Bounty Hunter’s job.
Kitting out in tactical gear; kicking down doors; dragging bail-jumpers back to prison all for a hefty fee – sure beats sitting at a desk staring at white walls all day.
Dog the Bounty Hunter could also provide the solution to NSW and potentially Australia’s rural pest problem.
According to the NSW Game Council, there are approximately 23 million feral pigs in Australia; 2.6 million feral goats; 18 million feral cats; and 7.2 million foxes. It is estimated that this population of foxes kills 190 million Australian birds every year.
On a recent hunting trip, my comrades and bagged 15 large pigs and 30 plus goats in the space of two days; we barely made a dent in the population. As we drove out the gate to head back to Sydney, a mob of pigs stopped to watch us as if to say ‘we’re still here’.
In the spirit of the Dog, why not turn licenced recreational shooters into feral animal bounty hunters? With the solid rainfall the numbers of feral goats and pigs is ballooning and as the various rabbit viruses have washed out of the system, the rise in bunny numbers has been mirrored by foxes.
If the NSW government put a price on the head of these animals - $10 for every goat and fox, $50 for every pig – there is the potential to make a measurable impact on the population of animals that mangle our native environment.
A year ago this month, Victoria reintroduced the bounty on foxes and wild dogs responsible for devastating wildlife and livestock in the garden state.
Since October 2011, almost 117,000 animals have been eradicated and their skins handed over for a bounty of $10 per fox and $50 per wild dog. Upon announcing that 116,691 fox scalps and 337 wild dog skins had been collected so far, the Victorian Agriculture Minister, Peter Walsh, told media that the bounty ‘recognises hunters’ efforts in controlling feral animals and offers an incentive for more hunters to take part’.
Peter Walsh is right; knowing that every animal you put down helps cover the cost of the ammunition and fuel for a hunting trip is a big incentive for shooters to get out into the bush more often.
Of course the Greens won’t like the idea, not surprising considering they tend to live in a political fantasy world, where unicorns and pixies run free and developing a solution to any particular problem is as simple as coming up with a pithy line at a press conference.
They’ll also claim that the only way to address the issue is to support professional hunters culling and baiting feral animals wherever they are found.
The simple fact is that this strategy is not working. While professional shooters have a big role to play in combating the feral population, the increasing numbers clearly show that they can’t handle the job alone.
Seeing firsthand the devastation feral animals inflict upon our environment, it’s time the NSW and perhaps the Federal Government took note of the success the Victorian bounty is having and follow suit.
If they did, I’d be the first into the bush to chase down a bounty or two; but I’d draw the line at growing a Dog style mullet.
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