FIREARMS — FERAL
305. Hon ROBIN SCOTT to the minister representing the
Minister for Police:
Current firearms legislation
requires pastoralists to use a small .22 calibre rounds to bring down a feral
camel. Pastoralists have advised me that many rounds are required to bring down
a camel and that it is very difficult to bring down a herd with the current
(1) Does the
minister believe that it is ethical to use a small .22 calibre round on a camel
and that doing so is consistent with principles around protecting animal
that WA police officers carry firearms that have larger nine-millimetre rounds,
why is it lawful for those rounds, which might be used on humans, to be
unlawful when used on a camel?
(3) Is the
government considering reforming firearms legislation so that pastoralists can
more ethically eradicate large feral animals on their property?
The PRESIDENT: I will give
the call to the Minister for Environment shortly, but I will say, member, that
your question is an interesting mix of seeking an opinion and asking some
questions. Therefore, I am sure that the minister will have an appropriate
response to the parts that he can reply to in accordance with the standing
orders, if that is some help.
STEPHEN DAWSON replied:
Thank you very much, Madam President.
I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question. The following
answer has been provided to me by the Minister for Police and, as ever, is very
In relation to the member's
preamble, all community members are called on to adhere to the requirements
that police are enforcing. Some charges have already been laid and the
enforcement effort is increasing. In response to the member's question,
the Western Australia Police Force advise the following.
(1) The Firearms
Act 1973 does not require a pastoralist to use a small .22 calibre round to
bring down a feral camel. The Firearms Act 1973 provides that in the process of
licensing, a person needs to demonstrate a ''genuine
reason'' and ''genuine need'' for a particular firearm,
which is outlined in sections 11A and 11B of the Firearms Act 1973. Through the firearms assessment process, if it
were stated that a .22 calibre firearm would be used to shoot camels,
the application would be declined. The firearm is not suitable for that purpose
and would also contravene the Animal Welfare Act 2002. The use of such a firearm
type would be unethical.
(2) Police would
not use a handgun, described as nine millimetres, on a camel unless it was an
emergency, as it would be unethical, and a larger calibre firearm, described as
high powered, is a more suitable calibre firearm type.
(3) The Firearms
Act 1973 currently provides for persons to apply for high-calibre firearms, as
long as a genuine reason and genuine need is provided.