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The Government of South Australia is moving to ban the use of bows and crossbows to hunt animals.

The Department for Environment and Water (DEW) has responsibility for administering hunting in South Australia in accordance with the requirements of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 (NPW Act). DEW has been tasked with implementing this ban and has undertaken targeted consultation to inform this process.

Frequently asked questions

How will the changes be made?

It is proposed that amendment will be made to the National Parks and Wildlife (Hunting) Regulations 2011 that will prohibit the use of bows or crossbows to take (hunt) animals subject to a Basic Hunting Permit.

Following targeted stakeholder consultation and ultimately approval from the Minister, the department will work with the Parliamentary Counsel on drafting an amendment to the regulations. The amended regulations will then be provided to Cabinet for approval.

Who is impacted?

People who hunt mammals and birds where they are required to hold, and are permitted to do so, by a Basic Hunting Permit.

The NPW Act requires that a person must not hunt, or have possession of any firearm or device for the purpose of hunting, unless that person holds a permit.

Who is not impacted?

This ban is not intended to impact on hunting animals where a Basic Hunting Permit is not required, such as when:

  • An Aboriginal person is hunting for food for themselves or their family, or for cultural purposes and non-commercially.
  • Landholders, family members or an agent of a landholder destroy animal of a species not protected by the NPW Act that are causing damage to crops, stock or other property on the land.
  • Someone destroys an animal of a species not protected by the NPW Act that is endangering human life.

What else is not impacted?

The ban WILL NOT impact:

  • The recreational use of bows and crossbows that doesn’t involve hunting (e.g. target archery).
  • Duck and quail hunting - bows and crossbows are already prohibited to take protected species under an Open Season (Duck Hunting) Permit or an Open Season (Quail Hunting) Permit. Hunting of duck and quail during Open Season with firearms permitted for this activity will not be affected by this ban.
  • Bow Fishing which is managed under the Fisheries Management Act 2007.


  • The ban will not prohibit ownership of bows and crossbows generally as they will still be able to be used for recreational purposes that don’t involve hunting.
  • The ban will not prohibit ownership of hunting-specific bow and crossbow equipment, such as broadhead arrows or bolts, as they can still be used in other states that permit hunting with bows or crossbows or for recreational purposes that don’t involve hunting in South Australia.
  • There is no intention to offer a ‘buy back’ of bows, crossbows or hunting-specific archery equipment.
  • There is also no intention to refund Basic Hunting Permits because of the ban.

When will the changes take effect?

The department will work with stakeholders to determine reasonable timeframes for the regulations to come into effect.

Is there anything else I should know?

This page will be updated to include any new information on the forthcoming ban.

What consultation is occurring?

The department invited key stakeholders to provide feedback on the approach to implementing the ban. This included timing of the ban, how the ban should be communicated and other considerations relating to the ban.

If you have other questions about the ban not answered by this webpage please email: