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RSPCA Australia says last night’s ABC Four Corners program, “Safari- Paying to Kill” illustrated the worst excesses of hunting for recreation.

CEO Heather Neil said the program focused particularly on ‘canned hunting’ in South Africa, where international trophy hunters pay to shoot iconic wild animals confined in enclosures. The program showed wild animals, including lions, being bred and offered up for hunting like items in a shopping catalogue.

“Some of these wild animals had outgrown petting zoos, and were unafraid of humans, which made them easy targets,” Ms Neil said.

“RSPCA Australia would vigorously oppose any moves to introduce ‘canned hunting’ into Australia. According to our research, 74 per cent of Australians believe that hunting or shooting animals for recreation is unacceptable.

“Our policy is simple - the RSPCA believes recreational hunting, or the act of stalking or pursuing an animal and then killing it for sport, cannot be justified. Hunting has the potential to result in significant animal suffering. Animals are sometimes chased to the point of exhaustion and then killed with methods that do not cause a quick and painless death.

“The program is especially relevant, given that the duck shooting season in Victoria and South Australia begins this weekend.

“We oppose duck hunting for the same reason that we oppose all forms of recreational hunting. This is a brutal activity. We know that thousands of waterbirds which are shot suffer a slow and agonising death,” said Ms Neil.

RSPCA Australia urges all Australians to join the RSPCA Victoria and RSPCA South Australia current campaigns to stop duck hunting.

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