South Australia Bowhunting Ban Needs Immediate Shelving


A 5,000 year-old human activity is under threat in South Australia, with significant consequences for the wider outdoor pursuits community.

In correspondence from an MP to a South Australian resident, it was confirmed the state’s Labor Government plans to outlaw hunting animals with bows and arrows, or crossbows and bolts, in the state.

The letter stated the MP (whose details had been redacted in the letter SU has seen) had confirmed with Deputy Premier Susan Close that the Labor Government was committed to banning bowhunting in South Australia and had tasked the Department of Environment and Water with evaluating options for implementing the ban.

Shooters Union South Australia president Peter Heggie expressed his shock and alarm at the statement, saying it would have significant consequences across the entire outdoor pursuits community.

“Bow hunting is an eco-friendly hunting method which has been practised throughout the world for more than 5,000 years, and has countless participants here in Australia,” he said.

“It delivers a rapid kill to the animal, and gives a wide range of people the ability to harvest their own free-range protein, and presents absolutely no public safety risk – especially since the overwhelming majority of it occurs on rural, privately owned land.

“Banning it will only have negative outcomes for South Australians, taking away yet another form of recreation, food access, and opportunity to support our regional and outback areas.

“At least from our perspective, it will result in more people obtaining firearms licences and buying guns for hunting, but I’m sure the people calling for this ban won’t see that as a positive thing either…”

Mr Heggie said ultimately it was not OK to be banning things purely due to personal opinion.

“If we did everything on that basis, I would gladly place a bet the people of Australia would ban all politicians,” he said.

He also questioned the government’s motives in giving the idea any consideration at all, especially given the dire cost of living crisis affecting not only South Australia but most of the country.

“Politicians should be focused on the reducing the cost of living, not removing a method that thousands of people use for food harvesting or recreation.

“This ban is from what I can see is just a personal whim - there is no danger to public safety, there is no ecological damage. What is the science and the legitimate reason behind this?”

Mr Heggie also cautioned a ban on bowhunting could lead to restrictions on Indigenous hunting practices as well.

“The woomera spear-thrower kills game in more or less the same principle as a bow and arrow, in that it’s using a sharp pointed projectile launched via human-assisted power.

Is the Malinauskas Government saying that traditional hunting methods are unacceptable and inhumane, and should be banned? I certainly hope not. And if they’re not unacceptable and inhumane, then neither is bowhunting.”




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