New code of practice requirement for aerially-assisted trophy huntingConservation
The proposed new Game Animal Council will have a new responsibility of developing and applying a code of practice for aerially-assisted trophy hunting, Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today.
“Hunters and other backcountry users are concerned that certain aerially- assisted trophy hunting methods undermine their recreation through un-sportsman-like hunting. They have lobbied to prevent the practices of shooting from the helicopter, or using the helicopter to herd animals towards the hunter or exhaust them through the practice of hazing,” Dr Smith says.
“The Government accepts there is a case for improved regulation of aerially- assisted trophy hunting. We are going to empower the proposed Game Animal Council to develop an industry-led code of practice which will be a mandatory condition of aerially-assisted trophy hunting concessions from the Department of Conservation.”
The independent Game Animal Council will represent the interests of the hunting community and aims to better manage the recreational and commercial trophy hunting activities for deer, tahr, chamois, and wild pigs. The code of practice is expected to be approved by the Minister by the end of next year.
“This code of practice is essential if we are to protect the experience for thousands of New Zealand hunters. This is an elegant solution consistent with the commitment I secured as part of United Future’s Confidence and Supply Agreement with National to ensure herd-and-chase style heli-hunting becomes a thing of the past,” United Future Party Leader Peter Dunne says.
“Hunting is an integral part of the kiwi way of life and I’m proud that we have given hunters a greater say in the future of their sport, while preserving their right to hunt these animals for free,” Mr Dunne says.
“The Game Animal Council will help Kiwis make the most of the hunting opportunities that exist in our backcountry. I also hope it will encourage more people to get passionate about conservation and further involve communities in conservation and recreation advocacy,” Mr Dunne says.
“The heli-hunting industry has responded constructively to hunters’ concerns by developing a voluntary code of practice which limits shooting from the air, and herding and hazing. It is my intention to make this existing code a condition of any aerially-assisted trophy hunting concessions in the interim until the full code is approved and adopted by the Game Animal Council,” Dr Smith says.
The Game Animal Council Bill is expected to go through its remaining stages in Parliament today.