To the Victorian Government:
Duck hunting in Victoria is causing catastrophic damage to the state’s wetland ecosystems and the wildlife who live there.
Around 300,000 water birds are killed each year in Victoria for this “sport”. For each animal killed outright, an average of one other is wounded and left to die slowly and in agony from shattered bills, fractured limbs, and bullets lodged in vital organs.
Many hunters say they only kill what they can eat, but the discovery of pits filled with the whole corpses of dead birds in past years shows that this is rarely the case. An independent review of the Game Management Authority (GMA) in 2018 found “commonplace and widespread noncompliance with hunting laws” and revealed that the GMA’s own staff felt unable to ensure compliance or sanction wrongdoing.
Duck hunting is already banned in Queensland, the Northern Territory, and Western Australia – and a former premier of Western Australia, Carmen Lawrence, stated that the community could “no longer accept the institutionalised killing of native birds for recreation”.
The Australia Institute, an independent public-policy think tank, found that less than 0.5% of Victorians are active duck hunters while 87% support a ban on duck hunting. It also found that claims by hunters that their activities contribute significantly to Victoria’s economy are false. In fact, significant tourist revenue is lost because people don’t want to holiday in hunting areas.
Most Victorians already know that violence shouldn’t be considered a recreational activity.
It’s time for the government to introduce a ban on duck hunting that reflects this.