NSW Game Hunting Licence Code of Practice

The NSW Game Hunting Licence Code of Practice is an important tool for hunter education and engagement as well as compliance and enforcement. The code was approved by the Minister for Agriculture under section 24 of the Game and Feral Animal Control Act 2002 on Wednesday 31 August 2022,

The intent of the code is to provide a framework to promote ethical and safe practices and not a substitute for the legislative framework relating to hunting, animal welfare and the use of firearms. It is the responsibility of each holder of a game hunting licence to be aware of and comply with all relevant provisions of legislation relating to hunting, animal welfare and the use of firearms.

The code will continue to set the standard expected of licensed hunters, for hunters themselves and the NSW community.

Compliance with mandatory provisions of the code is a condition of all NSW game hunting licences. A contravention of a mandatory provision constitutes a breach of a licence condition and may be subject to penalties up to $5,500 for each breach as well as cancellation or suspension of the licence.


NSW Game Hunting Licence Code of Practice

Note— This web page contains the mandatory provisions of the code of practice for holders of game hunting licences under section 24 of the Game and Feral Animal Control Act 2002. The mandatory provisions only apply to the holders of game hunting licences.

Download the NSW Game Hunting Licence Code of Practice (PDF, 52.72 KB)

Purpose

The NSW Game Hunting Licence Code of Practice (the Code) defines the standards of ethical behaviour and safe practices required when hunting game animals.

The Code is established under section 24 of the Game and Feral Animal Control Act 2002 (the Act) and identifies the provisions that must be complied with by persons hunting game animals pursuant to a game hunting licence. Compliance with the mandatory provisions is a condition of a game hunting licence.

This Code replaces the previous Hunter’s Code of Practice that was included in Schedule 2 of the Game and Feral Animal Control Regulation 2012. This change allows the code to be approved separately by the Minister for Agriculture, as required under Section 24 of the Game and Feral Animal Control Act 2002.

Awareness of relevant legislation

The intent of the Code is to provide a framework to promote ethical and safe practice.

It is the responsibility of the holder of a NSW game hunting licence to be aware of and comply with all relevant provisions of legislation relating to hunting, animal welfare and the use of firearms.

Where there are inconsistencies between the Code and legislation, the legislation takes precedence.

Mandatory requirements

Everyone hunting game animals must abide by the Code. All holders of game licences must comply with the Code.

A contravention of a mandatory provision of the Code constitutes a breach of a licence condition and may be subject to penalties of up to $5,500 for each breach and cancellation or suspension of the licence (section 29 of the Act).

Code of Practice

The Code is set out in clauses 1-7, below. Each clause must be observed by persons hunting game animals pursuant to a game hunting licence. Compliance with those mandatory provisions is a condition of a game hunting licence.

1. Safe handling of firearms Where firearms are used, hunters must follow all safe use and handling practices. Game hunting licence holders must comply with the Firearms Act 1996.
2. Permission required to hunt on land A game hunting licence does not automatically authorise the holder of the licence to hunt on any land. Subject to the Game and Feral Animal Control Regulation, the holder of a NSW game hunting licence must not hunt any land without the express authority of the occupier of the land.
3. Target identification and safety The holder of a game hunting licence must not discharge a firearm or bow at a game animal if:
a. it cannot be clearly seen and identified, or
b. there is a discernible risk of injury to any person, or
c. there is a discernible risk of significant damage to any property.
4. Obligation to avoid pain and suffering The holder of a game hunting licence must:
a. not inflict any unnecessary pain or suffering on a game animal being hunted, and
b. use a firearm and ammunition or bow and arrow that is likely to achieve a humane kill of the game animal being hunted, and
c. only shoot within the reasonably accepted killing range of the firearm and ammunition or bow and arrow being used, and
d. target the game animal being hunted so that a humane kill is likely
5. Lactating females with dependent young If a holder of game hunting licence kills a lactating female game animal, the holder of the game hunting licence must make every reasonable effort to locate and humanely kill any dependent young.
6. Wounded animals If a game animal is wounded by the holder of a game hunting licence, the holder of the game hunting licence must make every reasonable effort to locate any wounded game animals and kill them quickly and humanely.
7. Use of dogs Subject to the Game and Feral Animal Control Regulation, dogs and other animals may be used while hunting only if:
a. their use is not in contravention to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979
b. their use is with the permission of the occupier of the land concerned.