2008 Media Releases

 

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NATIVE WATERBIRDS

VEAC recommendations irresponsible and outdated

Monday 29 September 2008

While the Coalition Against Duck Shooting has praised many aspects of the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC) recommendations, especially the creation of new national parks and the involvement of traditional owners as co-managers, the recommendations fail to acknowledge the serious impact of climate change and duck shooting on native waterbirds.

Campaign Director, Laurie Levy today said: “The VEAC recommendations relating to native waterbirds are seriously flawed and outdated. Climate change has already had a major impact on native waterbirds, causing their numbers to decline by 82% across eastern Australia over the last 25 years. While VEAC has closed down wetlands in the creation of new National Parks, they have also capitulated to hunters by leaving many wetlands open to shooting. VEAC has failed to take into account that climate change has rendered the recreational shooting of native waterbirds unsustainable in the 21st Century.

“VEAC avoided the hard decisions and instead pandered to the dwindling numbers of duck shooters in this state. Native waterbirds do not breed during drought when water and feed is scarce. With the Murray-Darling river system seriously degraded and with important wetlands in northwest Victoria now dry, everything should be done to ensure the survival of our native waterbirds well into the future.

“The VEAC recommendations claim to protect endangered species, yet Hird Swamp in northwest Victoria was left open to shooting. This wetland is often home to one of Australia’s most threatened birds, the Painted Snipe, with a population Australia-wide of only approx.1,500 birds. In Victoria, the Painted Snipe is listed under the Flora & Fauna Guarantee Act as Critically Endangered,” Levy said.

“VEAC also left Lake Murphy open to shooting where rare and threatened Freckled Ducks often seek refuge. Freckled Ducks were again illegally shot on Lake Murphy at the opening of the 2006 duck season.

“As global warming poses a continued threat to native waterbirds, VEAC must bite the bullet and listen to the 75% of Victorians who want the recreational shooting of native waterbirds banned (Roy Morgan poll, Oct. 2007), as three other Labor states have already done,” Levy concluded.

For further information contact:

Laurie Levy
Campaign Director
Mobile: 0418 392 826

304/78 Eastern Road, South Melbourne 3205 Tel: 03 9645 8879


 

 

Tasmanian duck-shooters take aim at Victorian shooters’ ‘bad behaviour’

Minister seeks advice from biased hunting committee
Olympic Standard Accuracy Test must be introduced for hunters

Monday 3 March 2008

The Victorian Coalition Against Duck Shooting will again send an experienced rescue team to Tasmania to help protect native water birds on the opening weekend of the duck shooting season.

According to Victorian gun organisations, about 300 of their members are expected to head south for Tasmania’s opening weekend.

Yet, earlier this year Tasmania’s Field & Game publicly told Victorian shooters they were not welcome in Tasmania and should keep away, citing ‘bad behaviour’ as the reason.

The Coalition Against Duck Shooting’s Campaign Director, Laurie Levy, today said: “A war between Tasmanian and Victorian shooters has broken out. Even though the behaviour of Victorian duck shooters leaves a lot to be desired, I suspect the real reason they are not welcome in Tasmania is simply because there are not enough birds to go around.

“The Tasmanian Government’s decision to allow a 2008 duck-shooting season was a blatant political decision by DPIW Minister David Llewellyn. The recommendations by his government’s scientists were ignored. Water bird numbers have decreased by 82% over the last 23 years and because native birds fly across state borders, the numbers over the whole of eastern Australia must be factored into state decisions. Victoria and South Australia have again acted responsibly by calling moratoriums for the second year in a row. Tasmania is not immune to climate change and global warming, and what affects the mainland states also affects Tasmania.

“David Llewellyn attempts to justify his decision by claiming he sought advice from the Game Management Liaison Committee, a committee made up of hunters who, not surprisingly, recommended that a season go ahead. What else would a committee of hunters recommend? This hunting committee is a sham, established by the government to fool the public into believing that the minister is taking unbiased environmental advice on the issue. This is a form of political corruption and misuse of political power. It’s called looking after your mates”, Levy said.

“Also there are serious concerns relating to the high wounding rate associated with duck shooting. It is now accepted in the US and Victoria that one in four birds shot, will fly away wounded. Until the recreational shooting of native waterbirds is banned in Tasmania, it is imperative that an Olympic standard accuracy test be established to test hunters before they are allowed onto the state’s wetlands. The only hunters who would oppose an Olympic standard accuracy test are those afraid they would fail,” Levy concluded.

For further information contact: Laurie Levy 0418 392 826


Media Conference: 10.30am, Friday 7 March – Steps of Parliament House, Hobart.

Victorian Duck Rescuers return to tackle Tasmanian and Victorian shooters at Moulting Lagoon on Saturday 8 March 2008

304/78 Eastern Rd South Melbourne VIC 3205 Tel 03 9645 8879


 

NO DUCK-SHOOTING SEASON IN 2008

Victoria has probably seen it’s last recreational duck season.

Tuesday 18 December 2007

The Victorian Government’s responsible decision to ban the 2008 duck shooting season is welcomed by the majority of Victorians.

Campaign Director, Laurie Levy, today said: “With climate change and water bird numbers down by 82% over the last 20 years, it is difficult to see how another duck season can ever take place in Victoria.

“The shooting organisations have their backs to the wall, with climate change being the final death-knell to a brutal activity.

“The Brumby Government has now acknowledged that wounding rates of native water birds shot, are far too high, with one in four flying away wounded,” Levy continued.

“A Morgan Research poll conducted in October 2007, shows that 75% of Victorians want duck shooting banned. This was across the board politically with 74% of Labor voters, 74% of Liberal/National voters as well as the majority of country people all supporting a permanent ban. (The poll was commissioned by the Coalition Against Duck Shooting with a grant from Voiceless.)

“It is now time for Victoria to follow the example of WA, NSW and Queensland and ban the activity permanently.

“The shooting organisations, in a time of climate change crisis, have again displayed their abysmal environmental credentials by attempting to persuade the government to call a duck season in 2008.

“The public will look back in a few years and wonder how such a brutal activity could ever have been allowed to take place in Victoria,” Levy concluded.

For further information:

Laurie Levy
Campaign Director
0418 392 826

 

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History and Victories

2007 & 2008

Moratoriums called in Victoria and South Australia. The rescue team travelled to Moulting Lagoon, the entrance to Freycinet National Park, on the east coast of Tasmania to confront the shooters and protect waterbirds after the Tasmanian government refused to call a moratorium.

2008

Three states in Australia have now banned the recreational shooting of native waterbirds – Western Australia (1990), New South Wales (1995) and now Queensland (10 August 2005)

2005

Queensland’s Premier Beattie becomes the third state Labor government to ban the recreational shooting of native waterbirds.

The Age editorial (19 March) again calls for the recreational shooting of native waterbirds to be banned in Victoria.

The numbers of duck shooters in Victoria drops from 95000 in 1986 to 19,400 today, although only small number were active on the state's wetlands in 2005.

View our Opening Weekend 2005 article

2003

The Sunday Age editorial (12 January) calls on the Victorian Bracks Government to ban the recreational shooting of native waterbirds in Victoria.

The Victorian government calls a moratorium. Rescue team travels to Tasmania for the opening weekend of their duck shooting season.

2002

The Bracks Government's own Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (AWAC) recommends that the recreational shooting of native waterbirds be banned in Victoria because of the inherent cruelty.

2001

Lead shot banned in Victoria.

1995

Premier Bob Carr bans the recreational shooting of native waterbirds in NSW, the second state Labor government to ban the activity.

1993

The Age newspaper editorial (24 March) calls for duck shooting to be outlawed. The first sentence says: 'Duck shooting is not a sport, it is an obscenity'.

1990

The recreational shooting of native waterbirds is banned in Western Australia by the then Labor Government.

 

Latest Poll

Latest Morgan Research Poll - Majority of Victorians want duck shooting banned

Open Letter to Premier John Brumby

The Age (page 5) Thursday 27 November 2008 - click on image or link to view article.

This advertisement was proudly supported by Voiceless, the fund for animals.

Latest Morgan Research Poll - Majority of Victorians want duck shooting banned.

View Morgan Research Poll PDF

- Read Poll Finding - Read Summary Report

This poll was made possible due to a grant from Voiceless.

Voiceless the fund for animals