Anti-duck shooting activists head to Ballarat for opening weekend as Kerang wetland is closed at the 11th hour
Lake Elizabeth closed to shooting
A team of 150 anti-duck shooting rescuers who are currently enroute to Kerang will divert their journey and be re-deployed to Ballarat. This follows an 11th hour decision to close Lake Elizabeth in Kerang, after Animals Australia and the Coalition Against Duck Shooting applied for an urgent injunction to close the wetland due to the knowledge of protected species being presented.
The team of rescuers will now head to lake Burrumbeet, just out of Ballarat and provide aid to the thousands of native waterbirds who are expected to be shot this opening weekend.
Laurie Levy, Campaign Director for the Coalition Against Duck Shooting said today “The Andrews Government was aware of the presence of protected species in Kerang, but ignored this fact and opted to keep the wetland open. We’ve dealt them a major blow by forcing their hand to close the wetlands at the 11th hour.”
“Duck rescuers will now head into the heartland of Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford’s electorate, and bring wounded and dead waterbirds out of Lake Burrumbeet near Ballarat.”
“Daniel Andrews has promoted his Government as being serious about animal welfare, yet still bows to pressure of duck shooters who make up 0.4% of Victoria’s population. If the Andrews Government is serious about animal welfare, then it will end the cruel practice of duck shooting once and for all.”
The major blow to the Andrews Government having to close the Kerang wetland, comes just a month after anti-duck shooting activists upped the ante by erecting a billboard on the same street as Jaala Pulford’s office that reads: Labor’s Policy on Duck Shooting: If it flies, it dies.
150 duck rescuers will congregate at Lake Burrumbeet tomorrow morning (19th March) from 6am to rescue native waterbirds. Your coverage is invited.
Media Contact: Laurie Levy – 0418 392 826 Ward Young – 0419 861 029 (Media liaison)
COALITION AGAINST DUCK SHOOTING
MEDIA RELEASE Thursday 17 March, 2016
Rescue team to target Lake Elizabeth, near Kerang in northwest Victoria, at the opening of the duck shooting season — Saturday 19 March, 2016
Animals Australia’s Lyn White to replace Laurie Levy and the RSPCA will provide veterinary treatment on the wetlands this year
Animals Australia’s top anti-cruelty campaigner, Lyn White AM, will be on the wetlands at the opening of the duck shooting season this weekend, replacing Laurie Levy who has been banned from entering Victoria’s shooting wetlands for the three-month duck shooting season.
Federal Labor MPs Kelvin Thompson and Melissa Parke, who have called for the Andrews Government to ban the recreational shooting of native waterbirds, will join Lyn White at Lake Elizabeth, near Kerang in northwest Victoria.
RSPCA CEO Liz Walker and a dedicated veterinary team will also be on the wetland to treat wounded birds in the RSPCA’s hi-tech Mobile Animal Care Unit (MAC).
Greens MP Sue Pennicuik will again be present to bear witness to the slaughter and the Animal Justice Party leader Bruce Poon is taking a rescue team onto the wetland.
Campaign Director Laurie Levy today said the rescue team will target Lake Elizabeth, now that Johnson Swamp, a state game reserve near Kerang, has been closed to shooting. “Lake Elizabeth has been artificially filled with water, so birds seeking refuge from the drought will be easily shot in what amounts to a ‘canned’ hunt,” Levy said.
“With the extremely dry climatic conditions and critically low waterbird numbers, the Andrews Labor Government has ignored the best scientific evidence to call a three-month duck shooting season,” Levy said. “The only conclusion we can reach is that Daniel Andrews is firmly in the pockets of duck shooters. Labor’s policy on duck shooting can be summed up in five words – If it flies, it dies.
“Most wetlands in northwest Victoria are completely dry. Johnson Swamp has been closed to shooting for the first four weeks of the season due to the “significant” presence of endangered Australasian bitterns. Lake Elizabeth, like Johnson Swamp, has been artificially filled and has attracted a diverse range of waterbird species seeking refuge from the drought. Duck shooters must never be allowed onto artificially filled wetlands as these birds become sitting ducks.
“With no government department looking after our native waterbirds, that job is left to our rescue team, Animals Australia and the RSPCA,” Levy said.
This year, rescuers will face fines of $910 for entering the water before 10am to help wounded birds.
For further information: Laurie Levy, Campaign Director, Mobile 0418 392 826