Australia’s best sports shooters will shoot and kill invasive animals upon returning from Tokyo 2020 under a new plan devised by Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley.
The nation’s elite shooters will travel the country hunting and killing the invasive animals which are destroying Australia’s natural environment and its native wildlife. Australia has the highest rate of native mammal extinction in the world, and feral animals contribute greatly to this destruction. The estimated cost of invasive species was $AUD13.6 billion in the 2011-12 financial year alone.
“Australia’s best sports shooters will use their skill and experience to hunt and kill invasive animal species,” announced Ley.
“They will begin this important work upon the conclusion of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, and will continue until every feral animal is eliminated from Australia. We must eliminate invasive species from our land in order to protect the ecology of this country.”
Ley believes the initiative presents numerous benefits. Shooters will help rid Australia of destructive species while honing their skills in a realistic environment shooting at moving targets, enabling them to hopefully win more medals at the next games.
“This will be especially beneficial to ‘Shotgun’ competitors, who must hit a moving target during competition, as well as exponents of Rifle and Pistol disciplines. We are also confident that it will provide a competitive edge for our shooters over shooters from other nations at Paris 2024.”
Ley also explained that Olympic shooters are suitable for this task because they are likely to return to Australia with COVID-19, and spreading this disease among the animal population may be more efficient than shooting,
“And it’s much cheaper than bullets.”
Under the plan, shooters will be required to reach a quota of animals killed in order to receive continued sports funding from the Australian taxpayer.
“We believe this will incentivise shooters to carry out their task effectively. We also expect Bridget McKenzie to join the shooters on their hunt, because she knows all about sports funding and she loves to shoot.”
Australia’s natural environment is under great threat from a range of invasive species such as cats, foxes, deer, mice, rats, myna birds, camels, horses, pigs, dogs, rabbits, goats, donkeys, buffalo, carp and cane toads. All of these animals can be shot, including the much-maligned cane toad.
“Cane toads are hard to shoot, but when you hit one, gosh it feels good. Watching the toxins spurt out of its guts is why I love shooting,” explained one Aussie shooter.
Another benefit of assigning this role to sports shooters is that many invasive species are found on private land, and many shooters own this land, so it will be easier to gain access to areas where feral animals dominate.
Ley was excited at the proposed outcomes of this program, and the contribution that some of our Olympic competitors can make to the country.
“Eliminating feral animals from our continent is far more valuable to the country than an Olympic gold medal.”