Author Topic: Cruel Victorian government expands duck shooting  (Read 1089 times)

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Cruel Victorian government expands duck shooting
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2011, 06:19:12 PM »
UPDATE 7.51am: DUCK hunters will be allowed to kill up to 10 birds a day for 87 days under an escalation of the controversial shoot by the Baillieu Government.

The 2012 duck season will the biggest since 1999 after more than a decade of drought.

The Coalition says conditions have eased so much that Victoria now has its biggest game bird population since 1984.

Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh will announce the expanded March 17 to June 11 season, saying the early announcement will give country businesses a greater chance to prepare and cash in on the hunt.

"The land and our waterways and wetlands have made a rapid recovery following the breaking of the drought, which has provided highly productive habitats with an abundance of food," he said.

"Locations accessible to duck hunters, and those to be excluded, will be determined following the normal assessment of concentrations of breeding waterbirds and threatened species before the season opens.

"The duck hunting season will generate a great deal of economic activity, particularly for those northern Victorian communities affected by last summer's floods."

The controversial duck kill has been severely restricted in recent years due to drought and increased scrutiny. The 2003, '07 and '08 seasons were cancelled and bag limits were as low as two birds in other years.

Next season's limit will be the maximum 10 birds for the first time since 1999.

Mr Walsh is also set to announce the creation of Game Victoria within the Department of Primary Industries to further promote and grow the hunting sector.

"The Government encourages people to make the most of the opportunities to hunt and fish and enjoy recreational activities that form part of our heritage," he said.

Laurie Levy, campaign director of the Coalition Against Duck Shooting, said the Baillieu Government had reneged on a commitment against animal cruelty.

"Premier Ted Baillieu assured the Coalition Against Duck Shooting in a letter dated November 7, 2011 that his government will not tolerate acts of animal cruelty," he said.

"Yet this statement was contradicted today when his government announced a 2012 recreational duck shooting season."

Despite an activist being shot in the face on the opening of the 2011 shooting season, Mr Levy said the campaign would push on this season.

"As long as recreational duck shooting seasons are called in Victoria, our rescuers will be present to take wounded birds to our on-site veterinary clinic and collect illegally shot, threatened and protected species," he said.

"Leaving Australia's native waterbirds in the hands of Victorian politicians and shooting organisations is just not an option."