The Game Animal Council is a statutory body established under the Game Animal Council Act 2013. It represents the interests of the hunting sector and improves the management of hunting resources while contributing to positive conservation outcomes.
The goal of the Game Animal Council is improving the management of deer, chamois, tahr, and wild pigs. These animals will be defined as "game animals". The only species of wild animal under the Wild Animal Control Act 1977 that will not be a game animal under the new Act is goat.
The Act provides for the Minister of Conservation to designate, by Gazette notice, any species of game animal, in a defined location on public conservation land a "herd of special interest". These herds will be so designated, and managed for hunting purposes, if they do not compromise other uses or conservation values.
The Act allows all or any of the Minister's powers regarding herd of special interest management to be delegated to the Game Animal Council, with the exception of the power to capture, convey, or liberate animals that are part of a herd of special interest. This power of delegation may be subject to directions or conditions set by the Minister and must be made in writing.
In addition to the management function for herds of special interest, the Game Animal Council has other functions including:
- providing advice to the Minister on game animals
- providing information and education
- promoting safety
- liaising with others on improving hunting opportunities
- conducting research on game animal hunting
The Council has added functions relating to:
- providing advice on hunting of game animals to private landowners
- operating voluntary certification schemes and codes of conduct for certified hunting guides and game estates
- investigating complaints and taking disciplinary action in respect of certified hunting guides and game estates
Find out more from the Game Animal Council website.