Allowing duck shooters to self-regulate is the equivalent of the Baillieu Government allowing arsonists to self-regulate during days of high fire danger
After bringing in 125 birds last weekend, Coalition Against Duck Shooting rescuers continued finding illegally shot birds this weekend, with at least five protected species including a rare and threatened Freckled Duck from Hird Swamp in north west Victoria.
Campaign Director, Laurie Levy, today said: “Finding this many birds lying in the water highlights that shooters are indulging in an uncontrolled thrill kill.
“Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh stated last weekend that ‘duck shooting is a legal activity’. But he has never commented on the illegal activities of duck shooters who shoot threatened and protected species and leave dead and wounded game birds on the wetlands. Nor did he criticise duck shooters when they illegally diverted water to fill their private shooting wetland prior to the 2009 duck shooting season – at the height of the long drought when farmers were going broke and walking off the land.
“Normally there are only 15 Wildlife Officers to patrol the whole of Victoria’s duck shooting wetlands, but last week the Coalition Against Duck Shooting was informed the Baillieu Government has refused to budget for any Wildlife Officers to patrol the wetlands for the remainder of the duck shooting season. This is why it is so important that our rescue teams remain on the wetlands throughout the 2011 duck shooting season.
“Allowing duck shooters to self-regulate is the equivalent of the Baillieu Government allowing arsonists to self-regulate during days of high fire danger.
“Mr Baillieu should end this outdated and unacceptable activity immediately,” Levy concluded.
A rare and threatened Freckled Duck and over 25 dead game and protected waterbirds will be displayed outside the Premier’s office at 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne at 10am today.
For further information, please contact:
Coalition Against Duck Shooting
Mobile: (0418) 392 826
The Coalition Against Duck Shooting rescue team patrolled McDonalds Swamp in north west Victoria last weekend and brought in over 100 dead game and protected waterbirds.
Campaign Director, Laurie Levy, said: “Our rescuers brought in over 100 dead game and protected waterbirds (including a Musk Duck, Whistling Ducks, Coot and a baby Purple Swamphen). Injured birds, including a young Ibis, were taken to the local vets.
“The last two weekends have seen a bloody massacre on this wetland. Dead and wounded birds were brought down by shooters and simply left to rot. And this was just one of the 20,000 wetlands where shooting can take place in Victoria. If it weren’t for our rescue teams the evidence would never have come to light and the government would get away with sanctioning cruelty to native waterbirds without the truth ever being revealed.
“These shooters should have been charged but with only 15 Wildlife Officers to cover the whole state, DSE is under-resourced, under-financed and are unable to do the job.
“Under the Wildlife Act, shooters must collect all birds shot and immediately euthanase the wounded. But these dead and wounded birds had been left to rot in the water.
“By calling a 2011 recreational duck shooting season, Premier Ted Baillieu makes himself responsible for this shocking carnage. Since there are insufficient funds to patrol the recreational duck shooting season by DSE officers, a season should never have been called.
“Duck shooting is legalised cruelty. The RSPCA is unable to prosecute duck shooters because the Wildlife Act overrides the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. The Wildlife Act protects duck shooters from prosecution. This may have been acceptable in the 1950s but certainly is not acceptable in a modern-day 21st century society.
“Whatever happens to decent human beings when they become the Premier and then go on to sanction the recreational ambush and slaughter of native waterbirds on our wetlands? It is even more incomprehensible this year as our wetlands are all nurseries for late breeding waterbirds,” Levy concluded.
Over 100 dead game and protected waterbirds will be delivered to the Department of Sustainability and Environment, Victoria Parade entrance at 10am today at 8 Nicholson Street, East Melbourne.
For further information contact:
Coalition Against Duck Shooting
Mobile: 0418 392 826
MEDIA RELEASE Monday, 21 March 2011
A Field & Game Australia (FGA) campaign to give away tens of thousands of dollars in prizes to entice hunters back to the wetlands with a slogan of ‘reigniting the passion’ has failed dismally with only a small turnout of duck shooters at Lake Buloke over the weekend.
Campaign Director Laurie Levy today said: “The small turnout of duck shooters is proof that even with big cash prizes, shooting native waterbirds has become a thing of the past. Recreational duck shooting is a dying activity in Victoria, even before it is officially banned.
As advertised in Feathers & Fur magazine, its official journal, FGA encourages hunters to join in a season-long ‘Celebrate the Hunt’ Festival, with shooting competitions for cash and other prizes. These include a Grand Slam event with big cash prizes for shooters who kill one of every legal game species during the duck shooting season. “This shows the shooters’ utter contempt for and failure to appreciate the beauty of Victoria’s wetlands and native waterbirds,” Levy said.
Two incidents on the opening day also highlight the inherent dangers posed by duck shooters, where one duck rescuer was shot and a duck hunter accidentally inflicted serious injuries to himself.
Levy said: “Instead of ‘reigniting the passion’ for their bloodsport, duck hunters have succeeded in reigniting the debate about recreational duck shooting where people have been shocked to realise that children from the age of 12 can carry guns onto public wetlands and into some national parks and blast away at defenceless waterbirds.
The Coalition Against Duck Shooting will today display some illegally shot protected species, ducklings and so called ‘game’ species outside the Premier’s office at 1 Treasury Place at 10 am today.
“Under the Wildlife Act, it is unbelievable that it is legal for Victoria’s big game hunters to shoot one-day-old ducklings on the water,” Levy said.
“The Coalition Against Duck Shooting calls on the Baillieu Government to finally ban the recreational shooting of native waterbirds,” Levy concluded.
For further information contact:
Coalition Against Duck Shooting Mobile: 0418 392 826