A terrible tragedy occurred in Victoria this week. A yellow sulfur-crested cockatoo was shot through the head with an arrow. Now while we agree that this is potentially an act of cruelty (we say potentially because nobody knows the actual circumstances yet), it is not the tragedy I am referring to. I refer, instead, to Andy Meddick of the Animal Justice Party using this horrific crime to punish lawful bow hunters.
Despite the fact that it has already clearly been stated that the arrow in question was a target arrow used for field archery, Meddick is using the actions of one person to launch a witch hunt against lawful bowhunting. In short, he wants to punish an entire community for the actions of an individual.
Can you imagine for just a second a politician trying to do the same with drink driving? Or maybe even drugged driving? Speeding? Any of the other vehicular crimes that result in innocent deaths?
They would be laughed out of Parliament and rightfully reminded that the illegal actions of a few cannot be used to punish the innocent.
Yet, that is exactly what Meddick is doing – seeking to punish all bow hunters for the actions of one person (we already saw this happen in Tasmania after a wallaby was shot with a field tip).
A person that is highly unlikely to even be a bow hunter in the first place.
Let’s look at a few details of this crime:
As has already been pointed out, the cockatoo was pierced with a target arrow used for field archery, not a broad head used for bow hunting.
The other thing glaringly missing is blood. If a bird that size had been shot with a broadhead arrow, there would be a LOT of blood.
Then there’s the trajectory of the arrow. From the grainy photos circulating the internet, it appears the cockatoo was shot with a downward motion – meaning the arrow entered through the top of its head and protruded through its bottom jaw.
It is hard to see in the image, but there doesn’t appear to be any fletchings on the arrow itself though maybe these came off after impact.
And then there’s the simple fact that the arrow is still there. To successfully bow hunt an animal, you need to be using a compound or traditional bow with the correct poundage for your draw weight. Even at the low end of the scale (40 pounds), with a bird that small, the arrow would have penetrated straight through the body, leaving a gaping hole behind. You would not be looking at a bird with an arrow still imbedded in its head.
Now all of these things combined add up to some pretty convincing proof that the likely culprit was not a bow hunter as Meddick and the media have libellously claimed, but a stupid kid with a field archery set and a shortage of adult supervision.
But here’s where things get really crazy.
Bowhunting any native animal is already highly illegal in Australia. In any state!
Bow hunters know this, and know it is punishable under the animal cruelty act. What possible motive do they have to risk a $41,000 fine and confiscation of all their (very expensive) equipment to shoot a cockatoo?
At the end of the day, this is simple act of animal cruelty by an individual, so why not just punish that criminal under our existing criminal justice system?
Would you ban all pet ownership because an individual got caught being cruel to their dog?
So why is Meddick using this to push for a complete ban on bow hunting? Because Meddick is doing exactly what he promised to do.
On celebrating his ‘win’ against the Victorian duck hunters earlier this month, Meddick promised his Facebook audience to ‘push reform for animals in family violence situations, in entertainment, for ‘food’ and used in medical research’.
No more meat. No fishing. No barbecues, No Sunday roast. No pet ownership (what Meddick refers to as family violence). No animal agriculture of any kind. A drastic reduction in the types of medicines available (bye bye insulin, which is made from pig’s pancreases).
Bowhunting is his current target but do not fool yourself into thinking he won’t come for your way of life next? Meddick is not just anti-hunting. He wants to see animals granted full human rights, which is very different to animal welfare (which we all agree is a good thing).
He is already gaining dangerous ground in the Victorian Parliament. If he’s allowed to succeed with this, it won’t just be duck hunting and bow hunting he runs off but much of what makes us Australian.
No more meat. No fishing. No barbecues, No Sunday roast. No pet ownership (what Meddick refers to as family violence). No animal agriculture of any kind. A drastic reduction in the types of medicines available.
This is vegan ideology, not reality. Yet, that’s the future Meddick wants to force on us all.
Maybe it’s time we all sent him a clear message that he does not speak for the majority.
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