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Which animals can be hunted for sport or recreation?

Article ID: 532
Last updated: 15 May, 2018
Revision: 4
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Due to the inherent risks involved, many animals hunted for sport or recreation will suffer pain and distress.

Most of the animals that are hunted for sport and recreation are introduced species such as feral cats, wild dogs, feral goats, foxes, hares, rabbits, feral pigs, buffalo as well as feral donkeys, horses and camels. The particular species that can be hunted vary between states and territories, as do the licensing and regulation requirements.

Wild deer are hunted as game animals (despite being considered pests in some areas due to their adverse environmental impacts). Some native animals including wallabies and kangaroos can also be hunted in some states. A number of native waterfowl species (such as black duck, wood duck, chestnut teal etc.) and other native birds (corellas, galahs, Australian raven) are also hunted along with native and non-native game birds such as quail, guinea fowl, partridge, peafowl, pheasant, spotted dove, turkeys and magpie geese.

Whether or not a licence is required and, if required, the type of licence varies according to the species hunted and whether it is hunted on private or public land. Where animals are classified as ‘game animals’ there may also be ‘bag limits’ which place restrictions on how many animals can be killed by a single hunter in a day.

Unfortunately, there is no legal requirement to demonstrate shooter competency, so anyone who has a firearm licence can obtain a hunting permit regardless of whether or not they are skilled at shooting animals humanely. There is limited monitoring or enforcement, so many animals may suffer pain and distress after being shot but not killed outright by an unskilled hunter. In addition, children as young as 11 years of age can obtain a hunting permit.

The RSPCA opposes recreational hunting, or the act of stalking or pursuing an animal and then killing it for sport, due to the inherent and inevitable pain and suffering caused.

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Attached files
file Recreational hunting - RSPCA Information Paper Dec 2017.pdf (538 kb) Download

Also read
folder What is the RSPCA's view on recreational hunting?
folder Is recreational hunting humane?
folder How does hunting affect other animals?
folder Which States allow hunting in National Parks?
folder What happens when dogs are used to hunt feral pigs?
folder Is it legal to use dogs to hunt deer?
folder Is it legal to hunt protected species such as marine turtles and dugongs?
folder Are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander hunters exempt from animal cruelty laws?
folder Can turtles and dugongs be killed humanely using traditional hunting methods?

Also listed in
folder Sport, entertainment and working animals -> Hunting

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What is the RSPCA's view on recreational hunting?       Which States allow hunting in National Parks?