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What is the RSPCA's view on bow hunting?

Article ID: 368
Last updated: 28 Apr, 2016
Revision: 4
Views: 10034

Bow hunting is a type of archery where bows and arrows are used to hunt wild animals.

The RSPCA is opposed to bow hunting because even when carried out by a competent marksman, bow hunting does not result in a humane death. When an animal is fatally shot with a bow, it can take several minutes for them to die and will suffer severe pain over this period due to the high level of tissue trauma and damage to organs. There is also a high risk of non-fatal injury occurring and in some cases, an shot animal escaping to die a slow, painful death. In contrast, when an animal is shot with appropriate firearms and ammunition, by a trained and experienced shooter, death is extremely rapid. Firearms deliver a percussive shock to the target animal which can delay the onset of pain, whereas arrows cause extensive damage without percussive shock. Ethically, there is no justification for using a method of killing that causes increased suffering when another more humane method is available. 

In addition, proponents of bow hunting attempt to justify their sport by claiming that they assist pest animal management. However, bow hunting is not an effective method of controlling pest animals, as it is carried out by individual hunters and targeting only one animal at a time. In order for pest animal control to be effective, it needs to be carried out as part of an integrated management program that focuses on reducing the adverse impacts of the target animals. In contrast, bow hunting is carried out as a sporting activity that focuses on the achievement of the individual hunter. There is no evidence that bow hunting makes any significant contribution to reducing the adverse impacts of pest animals in Australia.

How you can help

Please contact the Minister responsible for hunting regulations in your state and your local MP urging them to end bow hunting.


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Also read
document What is the RSPCA's view on recreational hunting?
document Is recreational hunting humane?
document Is hunting using shooting a humane way to kill pest animals?
document Why do some hunters use a bow and arrow and is this type of hunting humane?
document RSPCA Policy C10 Hunting of animals for sport

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What is the most effective and humane way to control deer?     What is the RSPCA's view on duck hunting?