Right now, the Victorian Labor Government is deciding whether to allow another brutal native duck shooting season to go ahead — even after its own survey has exposed shooters for being unskilled and potentially dangerous.
In addition to clear cruelty, a survey conducted by the hunting regulator — the Game Management Authority — has revealed shockingly few shooters in Victoria understand hunting rules.
The ‘recreational’ slaughter of waterbirds is inconceivably still on Premier Daniel Andrews’ agenda, even considering worsening environmental conditions, waterbird populations plummeting towards catastrophic failure, and habitats that are struggling to recover after devastating bushfires and years of drought. These issues alone should mean the end of duck shooting in the state — but it gets worse. Shocking new information has come to light highlighting further risks of letting a season go ahead.
The recent report — Summary report of hunters’ knowledge survey findings — exposed duck shooters in Victoria for having an appalling lack of knowledge — in fact the lowest of all hunter types in the state — when it comes to firearm regulations and duck shooting requirements.
Thousands of shooters were surveyed, and the results are damning. Of all duck shooters surveyed:
- Fewer than 4 out of 100 could answer all questions correctly when asked about animal welfare, waterbird identification and safety;
- 3 out of 5 don’t know how to shoot to minimise wounding;
- 84% don’t know how to kill ducks they have shot and injured;
- 85% don’t understand the safety risks associated with firing at ducks at close-range.
For years Premier Andrews has said he supports duck hunting “provided the rules are followed". For him to allow a season to go ahead in light of these findings would not only be cruel and reckless — but dangerous. It would mean letting shooters onto the wetlands who lack the most basic knowledge when it comes to animal welfare, and risk personal and public safety
Animals Australia has put forward an urgent and detailed submission to the Game Management Authority outlining why a season cannot go ahead, and we’ve written urgently to the Victorian Environment Minister highlighting the same.
Now we need these decision-makers to hear from you to reinforce just how many people want them to end this cruelty.
Each year the voices of Victorians calling for precious wildlife to be protected and habitats preserved far outnumber those of an increasingly tiny minority who choose to harm native ducks for the sake of ‘fun’. As our voices become louder, the reasons to end duck shooting become more critical.
Please urge the Premier Daniel Andrews to step up and end duck shooting in Victoria — if not for the cruelty, at least to protect waterbird populations in crisis and regional communities at risk. But, above all, because our wildlife deserve better.