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Member for Western Victoria Region, Bev McArthur used an adjournment debate in parliament this week to ask the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change to discontinue Parks Victoria’s expensive and ineffective helicopter strategy of deer culling.

Estimates suggest that there are more than 1 million wild deer in Victoria, including in Western Victoria Region. Deer have been frequently found to be damaging vital ecosystems, destroying national parks and often putting motorists at risk.

Parks Victoria’s current strategy involves the use of helicopters to cull deer numbers, reportedly costing the taxpayer up to $2000 an hour, with animals potentially left to die slowly and with carcases left for gouging by wild dogs. Through their helicopter strategy they culled just 119 deer last spring and 130 deer this autumn, while recreational hunters reduced the deer population by 121 600 in 2018.

Bev McArthur said “Not only does Parks Victoria seem to see the taxpayer as their personal piggy bank, but they have demonstrated their complete incompetency in attempting to tackle the issue.”

Bev McArthur said “These numbers are laughable and demonstrate that a more effective solution would be to reduce the restrictions on recreational hunters, who can efficiently cull the out-of-control deer population.”

“The benefits of increased recreational hunting are clearly numerous: the taxpayer is relieved of the exorbitant $2000 per hour spent on helicopter killing, animals are not left to die slowly and provide food for wild dogs, Victorians are endowed with greater freedom to use their public bush and pests that destroy natural ecosystems and national parks are culled at higher rates than any government agency can provide.”

“The Minister should ensure that Parks Victoria ceases its expensive and ineffective helicopter strategy of deer culling and develop policy that incentivises recreational hunters in our national parks by allowing them, for example, to sell the game meat commercially” she concluded.

29 August 2019