Shooters take aim for Red Card Feral Animal Shoot in Plantagenet area

By Leah Tindale
February 28 2022 - 2:00am
$500 is up for grabs as first prize in this years Red Card Feral Animal Shoot.

THE annual Red Card Feral Animal Shoot is now accepting registrations for this year's Plantagenet area shoot.

The yearly event ensures the continual management of feral animals, keeping numbers low to minimise the damage they have on native wildlife, plants and livestock.

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"It is a huge problem, we have been having more complaints in Albany and surrounding areas," said Oyster Harbour Catchment Group project officer Jenni Loveland.

"In previous years there have been other organisations doing the red card shoots, but for various reasons and worries about being held responsible if anything happens, there are only a few that do these red card for rabbit and foxes shoots.

"So it means that people aren't getting out on a regular basis and the numbers are increasing."

The biggest problem Ms Loveland said is the foxes followed closely by rabbits and then feral cats.

There have also been issues with pigs, deer and goats in the Albany area.

"There are more deer further inland you get, they are around Albany, but also in Jerramungup people have been complaining about deer," she said.

Kicking off at 6pm on March 26 till 6am the following day, there will be a tally breakfast at 7am on Sunday.

This year the shoot once again will be offering great prizes, including a first prize of $500 from the Oyster Harbour Catchment Group and Ray's Sports Power vouchers.

Teams of four to six people are encouraged to get together and register.

All shooters must be licensed and follow the strict RSPCA shooting rules.

Others are welcome to go along to open gates but are not able to shoot.

"The ideal result is to see 100 plus foxes," Ms Loveland said.

"Generally we will get a couple of hundred rabbits and if we can get a couple of pigs and deer, that will be a great result - we'd also like to see some feral cats."

Feral animals, particularly feral cats, have a huge impact both financially and physically to the regions, and unfortunately due to a lack of education, Ms Loveland said the event has experienced some negativity.

She hopes that as people realise the damage these animals have on agriculture, the environment and to our native flora and fauna there will be less pushback.

"We have pretty strong rules from RSPCA recommendations that shooters must adhere to," she said.

"But these feral animals do a phenomenal amount of damage along with the pests that they carry."

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Feral animals have fewer natural predators, cause soil erosion and destroy vegetation used by native animals for food and shelter.

Ms Loveland said that because of feral cats alone, about 80 endangered and threatened species were at risk in Australia.

She also said red foxes posed a real danger to livestock, as they preyed on poultry, lambs, piglets, and goat kids, with evidence indicating foxes are a primary cause in the decline and extinction of many small native animals.

To register your team head to ohcg.org.au/team-registration.

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