Duck hunting season given green light in southern Australia despite calls for ban

In Australia’s southern state of Victoria, duck hunting season is on its way despite calls for a hunting ban.

Gaming Authority (GMA) of Victoria Confirmed Arrangements for the duck hunting season on February 24, 2023.

The 2023 duck hunting season runs from April 26th to May 30th, with a limit of 4 ducks per day and a time limit of 8am to 30 minutes after sunset each day.

Hunters are also prohibited from hunting protected Blue-winged Shoveler and Hardhead species. Are listed Threatened under the Plant and Animal Protection Act 1988.

The state government also announced it would investigate recreational hunting of wild birds in the state.

Each year, Victorian duck hunters are only allowed to hunt during specific times set by the state government. The period varies from year to year.

Duck hunting is only permitted in Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory. However, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia have banned duck hunting for over 30 years.

Catherine Copsey, a spokeswoman for Victorian Greens, accused the state government of going cave-in to advance the hunting season under pressure from gun lobby groups. report age.

“We know Victoria is endangered and we know thousands of waterfowl are already under extreme stress.

“So giving the go-ahead this season and slaughtering countless ducks for entertainment is just inhumane.”

RSPCA and Shooters disappointed

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) Victoria was disappointed with the final decision.

This is because state governments have revised the rules each season to ensure that duck injury rates, bad hunter behavior, and “waterfowl numbers, breeding and habitat availability are all showing long-term declines.” Despite adopting a more “preventive approach” to the fact that ”

RSPCA Victoria CEO Liz Walker said: media release.

“Today’s decision does not reflect the evidence supporting a ban on the activity, as concerns over animal welfare and declining species numbers have led to calls for a ban on duck hunting in Victoria.

“According to the survey, two in three Victorians (66%) are against it. We are urging the government to reconsider.”

Meanwhile, Australia’s Sporting Shooters Association (SSAA) Victoria and Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party (SFFP) expressed disappointment with the result.

SFFP Geelong Chapter Chairman Ben Collier said: press The current situation is one of the best seen by Victorian duck hunters in the last 30 years.

“Changes to the mid-harvest model run counter to AHM[adaptive harvest management]efforts and prove that this year’s arrangements are purely political in nature,” they said. Told.

A legislative council committee will hold hearings from hunting associations, animal welfare groups and local communities to consider the arrangements and sustainability implications in other states.

David Laird, SSAA Victoria’s hunting development manager, criticized the government’s announcement of a commission to investigate hunting of native birds.

“It seems cowardly and shrewd that the Victorian government did not do the same,” added Laird.

The government plans to set up a committee the week after March and issue a final report by August 31.

Requirements for all game hunters

Besides holding a Victorian hunting license that allows anyone to hunt game, hunters must also pass a waterfowl identification test. In addition, hunting by children under the age of 12 is prohibited.

waterfowl identification test Enable duck hunters to demonstrate proper identification skills to distinguish between hunting and non-hunting waterfowl based on videos of waterfowl in flight.

Andy Medic of Victoria of the Animal Justice Party Said Ross and Russell demonstrate how hard it is for duck hunters to pass on the January 23rd 3AW breakfast radio show.

“[T]These shooters are asked to pass a test that requires them to identify the shadows of birds. If you think about it, you’re trying to hit moving targets at dawn and dusk with shadows flying across the sky,” he said.

“Most hunters actually fail that test, killing or seriously maiming endangered species every year. They can’t identify them, it’s impossible.”

Duck Hunting Season 2023 Report (pdf) The RSPCA Victoria commissioned by GMA indicates that injury rates in ducks can range from 6-40%.

Using the reported total harvest of 262,567 ducks for the 2022 season, this equates to between 15,700 and 105,000 ducks injured and not fully killed.

The RSPCA Victoria filing estimates that just 11,549 hunters will hunt in 2022. This means that just 0.17 per cent of Victoria’s population actively participates in duck hunting. rate.

GMA’s survey of hunter knowledge and abilities for the 2020 season showed that hunting best practices and rules are not well understood. For example, only 20% were able to identify hunting ducks, and only 37% of them answered correctly when asked about how to minimize wounds.

“We look forward to participating in the review and hope the government will ban duck hunting completely,” Walker said.

The Epoch Times has reached out to RSPCA Victoria for comment.