2015 Lake Murphy kayak incident

CADS rescuers targeted Lake Murphy, near Kerang, for the opening of the 2015 duck shooting season.

Also present was a Game Management compliance officer who was also a duck shooter. Because of this officer’s behaviour in the past, he was greatly disliked by rescuers. Furthermore, while acting as a wildlife officer in charge of the final weekend of the 2011 duck shooting season, he had organised a sting which resulted in five duck rescuers being arrested, bundled into a police van and taken to the Kerang police station. They were charged with deflecting birds away from the shooters’ guns and ended up in the Melbourne Magistrates’ court for a week.

At Lake Murphy in 2015, while standing in the water, Levy heard a commotion and saw this particular officer furiously paddling a kayak in pursuit of several rescuers who Levy believed had a wounded bird.  Because the officer had been so aggressive towards rescuers previously, Levy took the opportunity to grab hold of the end of his kayak and pull it backwards in the water as the officer tried to paddle forward, much to the hilarity of everyone watching from the shore. The incident was captured by the media and shown on TV news that night.

Channel 9 News 21 March, 2015

Levy was arrested for obstructing an officer and ordered to attend the Melbourne Magistrates Court. He was fined and prevented from attending the 2016 duck shooting season.

Ch 9 News 16 December, 2015

However, Levy’s fines were paid by an anonymous donor and Animals Australia’s Lyn White, who had offered to replace Laurie on the wetlands in 2016 if the court banned him from attending, took his place.  (Lyn is Director of Strategy for Animals Australia and a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).  She has been named one of Australia’s most influential women, has twice been state finalist for Australian of the Year and is internationally acclaimed.) 

A large RSPCA contingent, including CEO Liz Walker, also attended the 2016 duck shooting opening weekend, together with their impressive mobile animal care unit.