PFAS, cancer & other pathogens

Consuming wild birds puts shooters and their families at risk from PFAS and zoonotic pathogens, either bacterial, viral or parasitic.

Since 2018 the Environment Protection Authority has investigated PFAS contamination and warned against consumption of native waterbirds, but the shooters ignore the risks and illegally removed these warning signs which were erected at Hospital Swamp and around Lake Connewarre near Geelong in 2020:

Further notices were erected at Heart Morass near Sale, Gippsland, prior to the 2022 duck shooting season (below), yet shooting was not banned on this wetland

The risks posed by PFAS could well be compared with the asbestos issue. In Australia it wasn’t until the 1990s that the asbestos health concerns were taken seriously but it took until 2003 for a nationwide ban to be brought in. According to WorkSafe Australia, asbestos is the single biggest cause of work-related deaths. Asbestos-related illnesses contribute to over 4,000 Australian lives lost every year.

PFAS is a manmade chemical which was only developed in the 1930, but today is used extensively throughout the world for a multitude of purposes.

dangerous effects have only recently come to light and scientists are still learning about the health impacts of human exposure. Most animal testing show damage to the liver and immune system, low birth weights, birth defects, delayed development and newborn deaths.

It is present in firefighters foam which has contaminated some waterways and been taken up by native waterbirds and other wildlife.