Fair and Reasonable Update: Hunting still banned...By Nicole McKee, COLFO
- 17th Apr, 2020 Apr 17, 2020, 1:38 PM
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I’ve spent the last 24 hours extremely disappointed with the news that the Government is continuing the ban on hunting under Alert Level 3. Based on the anger I’ve seen in my emails and on social media, I’m not alone.
I could understand the ban under Alert Level 4 having already forfeited a balloted hunt scheduled for early next week. I am struggling however to understand the ban under Alert Level 3 when other activities with higher injury rates than hunting can go ahead.
To put it politely, I don’t agree with the Government’s stance. It’s inconsistent and feels like another slap in the face from this Government directed at licenced firearms owners.
“Mountain biking, for example, results in far more injuries than hunting - but I guess that’s the hobby for the politicians and bureaucrats who have embraced making decisions for us.”
We wanted to work with officials to show how many forms of hunting can be made safe. We could live with ‘hunt but only in your region’ - or ‘hunt, but you make take these precautions so that it is safe’. Instead, Wellington just said ‘stuff off, no hunting’.
Mountain biking, for example, results in far more injuries than hunting - but I guess that’s the hobby for the politicians and bureaucrats who have embraced making decisions for us.
A friend made the point that he feels safer going solo in the bush for a day hunt than going to his local supermarket. And for many, it’s not just a sport or a lifestyle, it’s a way of supplementing food and fulling the freezer. Four weeks at Level 4 can easily deplete the deep freeze. Many hunters need to refill.
I had a call with the COLFO legal team this morning. The lawyers advised that they need to see the Health Act Order (the legal instrument of the ban, which has not been made public). But they expect that the Recreational Spaces Subsection is likely to exclude hunting to align with the COVID-19 website and Government announcements.
As the Order is not yet available, many people are arguing on hunters’ behalf for the activity with limitations to be reinstated and not written into the exclusion section.
“We can’t let the continuous attacks on us by this Government divide and conquer our community. Whether you are a hunter or not, whether you use a firearm or not to hunt isn't the point.”
This message is to let you know that we are hearing your concerns and are working behind the scenes as best we can. Not everyone in our Licenced Firearms Owners group are hunters, but a good number are.
I’m not alone in my views. Many of your COLFO representatives are engaging with others on your behalf too. COLFO are also supporting our national bodies that hunt.
We can’t let the continuous attacks on us by this Government divide and conquer our community. Whether you are a hunter or not, whether you use a firearm or not to hunt isn't the point.
And even if you agree with the ban, we should all be concerned with the lack of transparency around the decision making at the top level whenever it involves firearms or firearms sports. That is something that we all need to fight against.
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