The Conservation through Sustainable Use of Wildlife Conference, from August 30 – September 1, was an invaluable opportunity for international and local experts to discuss environmental management across the world.
Hosted by the University of Queensland at the Pullman Brisbane, the event allowed academics, government representatives, industry and volunteers to share their views about sustainable use of wildlife in Australia and overseas.
SSAA Victoria’s Conservation and Pest Management Manager was one of about 200 delegates who attended the event, which was sponsored by SSAA.
“It was great to meet so many key industry leaders and hear from people from across the world at the conference,” he said.
“Many of the guest speakers confirmed what we already knew. That is, recreational hunters have a vital role to play in the management of invasive animals and conservation in general. There was a really positive attitude towards the use of recreational hunters moving forward internationally and that was really encouraging.”
The sustainable use of kangaroos, camels, goats, water buffalo, lions, horses, wild dogs, deer, rabbits, crocodiles, game birds and quail were all discussed at the conference.
Among the topics discussed were the social challenges of harvesting kangaroo meat. Macro Meats Managing Director and founder Ray Borda provided insight into why the company is now only harvesting male kangaroos.
The opportunity feral goats presented to farmers in drought-ravaged areas was also discussed at the conference. With the price of goats per head now level with sheep, many farmers are mustering the animals and selling them to supplement their incomes.
Among the international speakers was a South African Professor and Head of the Nature Conservation Department, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, Brian Reilly. Brian provided a first-hand account of the backlash received by the South African trophy hunting industry from animal-rights activists.
A recurrent theme throughout the conference was the rise of animal liberationists and the impact they have had on recreational hunting and the control of animal populations. One of the most highly anticipated talks at the conference was RSPCA’s Chief Science and Strategy Officer Dr Bidda Jones.
For a full report on the Conservation through Sustainable Use of Wildlife Conference and a report about the latest Wilsons Promontory Hog Deer operation, read the October edition of the Victorian Shooter magazine.