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The RSPCA opposes recreational hunting due to the inherent and inevitable pain and suffering caused to animals and strongly encourages alternative ways to demonstrate precision and accuracy using a firearm.
There are many well-established shooting disciplines which simulate hunting and can be enjoyed recreationally without the use of animals.
Simulated field shooting is a popular and fast growing sport, originally developed to help hunters practice between gaming seasons. A shotgun is used to hit clay discs which represent traditional quarry such as rabbit, duck, quail and pheasant. Shooters walk around a course and the natural terrain is used to launch clay targets from bushes, trees and fields. The hunting experience is emulated with discs of different sizes and shapes propelled at various speeds, angles and distances. There also many specialised targets available which include ‘battues’ that turn at the end of their trajectory, and ‘rabbits’ which move along the ground.
'Five-stand' is a competitive discipline in which a shooting stand, resembling a cage, restricts the movement of the rifle to ensure safety. Shooters fire at clay targets launched at different trajectories, speeds and angles which mimic the unpredictable movement of live quarry.
'Skeet' is a competitive sport in which a shotgun is used to fire at clay discs propelled at high speed from two fixed towers. Shooters move through a semi-circular range comprising eight shooting stations.
'Trap' simulates field shooting of waterfowl and game. Shooters fire at clay discs flung into the air from an underground bunker. Double trap involves the release of two discs simultaneously.
Australia has excellent shooting facilities and has achieved international success in many disciplines. For example, Michael Diamond won a gold medal for Australia in the trap event at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and Russell Mark won the double trap competition.
Further information about alternatives to recreational hunting can be found here: