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Byron Shire
August 12, 2022

What new madness is this?

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Some 2,000 years ago, the poet Virgil asked, ‘What new madness is this?’ The NSW government is proposing changes to hunting regulations so that children under 12 years of age can apply for a Game Hunting Licence!

I’m not making this up – I wish I was. It’s on the NSW government website under ‘proposed Game and Feral Animal Control Regulation 2022’. As well as encouraging ten-year-olds to wander around with lethal weapons (what could possibly go wrong?) they are also suggesting that young people aged 16–18 should be allowed to hunt with dogs, using bows and arrows, without adult supervision. They also have removed stipulations, such as they were, to avoid animal cruelty.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child clearly spells out the harmful effects on children caused by witnessing animal abuse and recommends that members ‘take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence’.

This makes lots of sense. We try to protect our kids from the excesses of film, television and the internet. We know that normalisation of violence traumatises them and may lead to domestic violence and child abuse when they grow up. Why would we want them not just witnessing but taking part in acts such as ‘pig-dogging’, in which packs of trained dogs chase and maul pigs? Dogs, too, are often gored in the hunt, which only ends when the hunter stabs the pigs through the heart or shoots them at close range.

Surveys show that the vast majority of Australians utterly oppose animal cruelty. Yet the NSW government is being dragged into bad decisions by a tiny minority who get their kicks from killing. It is madness.

Desmond Bellamy, PETA Australia

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  1. So I guess if PETA has it’s way, we just leave un-managed all those feral cats, dogs and pigs to become a foot & mouth disease-bank – the while destroying native habitat, flora and fauna?
    Now that is certainly ‘new madness’.

  2. You do realise children are designed to kill and eat animals right? What do you think used to happen before supermarkets…hell, before farming!
    If your child has a problem with killing an animal with their bare hands, cooking it over a camp fire, and eating it…well…that’s a broken human that wouldn’t survive in our natural environment.

      • Domesticated humans feel powerless and become neurotic. Most mental illness could be avoided giving young people the connection to nature their ancestors had.

    • PETA just ignores 300,000 years of human history, where we were hunters and gatherers for most part.

      Indigenous Australians were hunters, they would kill animals daily with spears, boomerangs, traps, fire and other methods.

      Hunting can be sustainable, we need hunting to balance the ecosystem especially for feral pigs and cats, that we humans introduced.

      Q for PETA – so its OK for other animals to hunt, eg. pigs and cats to kill other native wildlife, but its not OK for humans to hunt ? we are only animals too.

      sorry to say the universe is chaotic, there is life and death, hunting and the hunted, there is no perfect ethical place and you can’t expect as a simple human to convert a chaotic universe into an ordered one.

  3. Aboriginal Culture teaches children to run around with deadly weapons hunting animals. What is the writer try to imply?


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