Trigger warning:

This site may, in fact always will contain images and information likely to cause consternation, conniptions, distress, along with moderate to severe bedwetting among statists, wimps, wusses, politicians, lefties, green fascists, and creatures of the state who can't bear the thought of anything that disagrees with their jaded view of the world.

Nov 1, 2011

Bob Katter, shooting, and politics.

Image: Katters daughter and son in law with trophy. (The Australian.)

Probably due to the paucity of thought in most political parties here, a fair amount of effort has been expended on criticizing Katter’s Australian Party over the hunting activities of his associates. The first involves Shooters Party MP Robert Borsak for hunting African elephants. The linkage to Katter is somewhat nebulous, based mainly on Katter’s support for shooters.

The second is closer to home, with his son in law, Rob Nioa shooting a ‘rare scimitar-horned oryx' on a private game ranch two years ago. Like the LDP and Shooters Party, the KAP is quite open about its support for gun ownership and hunting, so they are not hiding anything. It is somewhat illogical to draw the conclusion from this that Bob tortures bunny rabbits, strangles kittens, and eats puppies.

Opposing parties would be better to concentrate on the real issues rather than howl at the moon on non-issues. All that the KAP is offering is more Bob, a few vague platitudes, and the opportunity to add another generation to the Katter political dynasty. The hunting activities of his associates are actually beneficial.

In both incidents, the hunting was carried out legally with all conditions including the payment of license fees met. While the images may cause distress to some, neither Bob nor those associated with him are guilty of any wrongdoing on this issue.

South Africa and Zimbabwe manage their elephant populations and from time to time culls need to occur. The sale of licenses to professional hunters generally ensures that the animals are culled cleanly and humanely and a proportion the profits are used to benefit wildlife preservation and stamp out poaching. Giving these animals a commercial value effectively changes their status from crop destroying pests, into a commercial asset to be husbanded.

The oryx shooting happened on a private game reserve in the Northern Territory and is also above board. Such enterprises are probably one of the last best hopes for the survival of a number of endangered species including the oryx, which is extinct in the wild. These ranches are breeding new stock, and being private, need to run at a profit.

Those profits can be obtained from fees from visitors, sale of surplus animals to other enterprises, and in the case of older stock that have lost their commercial or breeding value, by finding some fool who is prepared to spend a lot of money for the privilege of hunting one. This makes room for younger animals that are likely to breed and increase numbers overall.

While I have no time for Bob or his party, these people are not guilty of anything other than upsetting animal lovers and may have contributed towards better outcomes for African wildlife. Animal lovers need to look past the smokescreen and try to keep things in perspective.

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