Rockliff Government must not open TWWHA and National Parks to recreational deer hunters.

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The Rockliff Government’s ‘Implementation Plan for the Management of Fallow Deer’, released today, confirms yet again that hunters and shooters are more important to the government than the protection of our precious wild places.

“Stubbornly refusing to remove the protected status of feral deer is bad enough, but now to add insult to injury by actively planning a pilot project to open National Parks and the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) to recreational shooters is beyond the pale,” said Christine Milne, Bob Brown Foundation Patron and Invasive Species Council Ambassador.

“We welcome the goal of eradication of feral deer in the TWWHA and our National Parks, including the option of aerial shooting by professional shooters under the direction of the Parks and Wildlife Service. But we reject absolutely the government inviting recreational hunters and shooters into the parks. This is not an eradication plan. Hunters don’t eradicate, they selectively shoot to maintain ‘a quality herd’ of feral animals for the future.

This is yet another sop to the deer hunters and shooters of Tasmania at the expense of proper parks management. The government has been warned for decades that feral deer are spreading well beyond the Midlands into the Douglas Apsley and Freycinet National Parks and our world-renowned  TWWHA, but it has done nothing. Instead, it has encouraged it as part of the ‘Tasmanian way of life.’ Tasmania needs a well-funded biosecurity strategy to address alien invasive species, and feral deer in particular, not a poorly funded and badly designed plan designed to fail,” concluded Christine Milne. Wild Fallow Deer Management Implementation Strategy.pdf

3. Eradication of deer from world heritage areas and national parks3.1 Implement pilot program for aerial shooting in Walls of Jerusalem National Park3.1.1 Evaluation and report of aerial deer management tools under Tasmanian conditionsPWS Australian Government, Department of Regional New South WalesPlanned2025
3.2 Implement a pilot partnership with hunting organisations for ground shooting associated with the program to control deer in Walls of Jerusalem National Park3.2.1 Evaluation of ground shooting options to assist in the control of deer from world heritage areas and national parksPWS Tasmanian Deer Advisory Committee (TDAC), Australian Deer Association (ADA), Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (SSAA) GSTUnderway 
3.3 If required develop a standard deer management plan for Tasmanian world heritage areas and national parks3.3.1 Review outcomes of aerial and ground shooting trials in the Walls of Jerusalem and incorporate results into future control plans as required.PWS TDAC, ADA and SSAAPlannedDec 2024

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