What's wrong with this picture?
The NSW Shooters Party are presently pushing for changes to animal cruelty laws to legalise 'canned hunts' – where hunters pay thousands of dollars for the privilege of shooting trapped animals, including endangered species. One member of the Shooters Party is a Mr Bob McComb.
Over the last 3 years Dubbo Zoo has sold 24 blackbuck antelope - a seriously endangered species - to Mr McComb. If the Shooters Party's bill passes, then these 24 blackbuck antelope may be the first visitors to Mr McComb's planned 'private game reserve' (ie. canned hunt).
Hmm… where to begin?!
As if it weren't enough that Australia is driving our own native species to extinction faster than the rest of the world, now we need to breed other countries' endangered animals just so they can be shot?
I've heard many a zoo pat themselves on the back for their 'conservation' work, through breeding programs. So when the Dubbo Zoo says these 24 endangered antelope were 'not required' for their collection, and sells them to a hunter, you've got to wonder if they've checked the definition of conservation in a dictionary lately!
Of course, Mr McComb seems to be a little confused about what the word means as well, "I see private game reserves as a very effective way to achieve that conservation". I tell you what … if I were an endangered animal Mr McComb (and the Dubbo Zoo for that matter!) would be the last person I would want to see running to my rescue!
I could rant about this all day, but instead, I'll ask you to join me in writing to Dubbo Zoo to tell them how appalled you are that they would sell any animal (endangered or otherwise) to a hunter.
And if you feel like you're on a roll after that letter, you might also like to write to the NSW Premier and Environment Ministers to ask them to reject the Shooters Party's bill.
NSW Premier Nathan Rees
Hon. Carmel Tebbutt, Minister for Climate Change and Environment
Phew! I'm glad I got that off my chest, it's been bugging me all day!