"Duck shooting is not a sport, it is an obscenity. ...Those men who need guns to reassure themselves about their masculinity should be forced to look elsewhere for reassurance."
The Age, 24 March 1993
Australia’s wetlands are some of the most beautiful and peaceful places in Australia.
In Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania they are also regularly the site of an archaic ‘sport’ that leads to the suffering of hundreds of thousands of native waterbirds each year.
As dawn breaks, the tranquil scene of birds swimming peacefully in their habitat is brutally destroyed by the sound of gunfire. Defenceless birds take to the sky in fright and become targets for the shooters. Shotguns are used by shooters and send a spray of pellets into the air. It is estimated that at least one in every four ducks shot will escape wounded—only to suffer from untreated injuries and to potentially die a slow and cruel death. Despite the need for a licence and a (once only) ‘waterfowl Identification test’ for shooters, protected species are also shot at, killed and wounded each year.
Also present are teams of ‘rescuers’, who oppose the slaughter and try to assist wounded birds and other birds and wildlife that are distressed by the gunfire. Their presence and the constant pressure by lobbyists and duck-rescuers such as Laurie Levy of the Coalition Against Duck Shooting have resulted in:
In announcing the ban on duck shooting in Queensland, Premier Peter Beatty said (Govt media release 10th August 2005):
‘There will be no more duck and quail hunting in Queensland…It's time to ban the recreational shooting of ducks and quail. This is not an appropriate activity in contemporary life in the Smart State.’
Premier Beatty was right—nor is duck shooting an appropriate activity for any state in Australia if we want to be considered an ethical and compassionate nation.
It is time to convince the remaining governments, which still permit this barbaric slaughter, that aligning themselves with the shooting lobby is no longer acceptable by the broader community, and is a recipe for election disaster, rather than election success.
Find out more in the duck shooting factsheet.
Minister for Environment and Climate Change
Level 17, 8 Nicholson Street, East Melbourne 3002
TasmaniaThe Hon Bryan Green
Minister for Primary Industries
Hobart Tasmania 7000
South AustraliaThe Hon Paul Caica
Minister for Environment and Conservation
GPO Box 1047, ADELAIDE 5001
Phone: 08 8463 5680