The New South Wales government started a “pest-control” trial seven months ago and the cost has been ghastly.
With an attempt to rid the country’s national parks of pest animals, New South Wales looked to the help of amateur hunters on a volunteer basis, but have ended up costing taxpayers dearly for a not-so-effective program.
In seven months, the New South Wales government has already spent over 1.4 million dollars to foot the bill for this hunt, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
Around 198 animals have been killed so far, and 70% of them were rabbits. That is just shy of $7100 dollars per animal. Government officials have said that this was mainly due to set up costs. They have also killed goats, pigs, deer, and foxes.
Currently there are 12 parks open to the program which allows for volunteer hunters in an area of about 1.2 million acres. Those against this trial hunting program have started to become quite vocal and feel as if the government is favoring the Shooters and Fishers party, causing theNational Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) to watch over amateur shooters.
As the Morning Herald points out, the New South Wales government originally agreed to allow hunting in national parks to win the favor of two members who had influential votes to make, but the former premier Barry O’Farrell backed off the decision, and disallowed hunters access to the parks.
In turn, Robert Brown of the Shooters and Fishers party has called the trail disgraceful. He thinks some of the limitations on the trial hunting program have made it so that it cost more than it needed. He said that if they didn’t have to have park rangers watching over the hunters that more animals would be killed and less cost would be incurred.
Currently only 26 shooters have been able to participate while over 500 expressed interest in the program.