16 August 2012
Game Victoria (within the Department of Primary Industries) has used a review of Victorian Wildlife Regulations to propose a relaxing of hunting laws. The plan: to make it easier for children and tourists to shoot ducks and kill other wildlife for fun.
Sadly, this is no surprise. The Ballieu Government policy is to 'promote game hunting as a popular recreational activity.'
Victoria is one of only 3 states in Australia to still allow duck shooting. If these proposed changes are passed, it would be a big step backwards for animal welfare. Game Victoria is even considering reintroducing poisonous lead shot for children and women to use; and completely banning duck rescuers from wetlands.
Time is running out to have your say. Right now, the proposed changes to the Wildlife (Game) Regulations 2012 are under public consultation. This is your chance to speak out for the ducks. But you'll need to be quick. Submissions close at 5pm EST, Monday 20th August.
Submissions can be as simple as a quick email expressing your concerns about the changes to the legislation.
The areas of greatest concern are:
- Section 20: A new 14-day duck hunting licence for international visitors who are not required to pass the Waterfowl Identification Test (WIT)*. Such hunters must be under the direct supervision of a licensed adult hunter who has passed the WIT.
- Section 22: A new free hunting license for children aged 12 – 17 to hunt ducks under the direct supervision of a licensed adult hunter, without passing the WIT.**
- Sections 34-44: Relaxation of regulations for the hunting of deer with dogs.
- Section 19: Free short term licenses to allow more people to shoot on 'game bird farms'.
* The Waterfowl Identification Test is intended to ensure hunters can identify target and non-target birds. Having inexperienced children and tourists wielding guns on the wetlands will only increase the risk that more animals, including protected and threatened birds will be injured and killed.
** Children currently need to pay for their hunting license. Offering a free hunting license would encourage more children to take up a violent and dangerous hobby involving guns.
If you live in NSW, ducks need your help too. Take action here to stop a proposal by the NSW Shooters & Fishers Party to re-legalise duck hunting.