DUCKS have just two weeks to lie low until the end of this year’s shortened duck hunting season.
The season, which ends Wednesday 16 June, was limited to three weeks instead of the three months the state government could have declared.
Nationals Leader Peter Walsh said the cutback was “a deliberate attempt to put another nail in the coffin of legal, legitimate recreational activities in regional Victoria”.
Mr Walsh quoted a report commissioned and paid for by Field & Game Australia that found “the justification [for the shortened duck hunting season] masquerades as a science-based decision, when in reality it is a politically expedient decision, aimed at legitimising the views of anti-hunting and animal rights groups, at the expense of hunters”.
Animals Australia sees duck hunting as an archaic “sport” that leads to the suffering of hundreds of thousands of native waterbirds each year during recreational shooting seasons.
“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. Protected species are also shot at, killed and wounded each year.”
Mr Walsh said hunters were right to fear the Labor government was trying to “regulate them out of existence in an effort to win over inner-city voters.”
Hunting generates $356 million for our state, supports thousands of jobs – many of them in rural and regional communities – and brings families out to country areas for a weekend away. But Labor’s limited season will gut this economic boost.
Speaking on the reduced season, Field and Game CEO Dean O’Hara said: “I think the majority of people won’t go, which is exactly what the government wants”.
Mr Walsh said Labor was deliberately strangling the season so it could build a case against Victorian hunters.
“Ridiculously low bag limits and opening hours will discourage many people from making the trip out to our regional communities,” Mr Walsh said.
“I’m urging hunters to back our regional communities by still making the trip out for a weekend away with the family.
“Uncertainty generated by Labor’s knee-jerk lockdowns is cutting at the heart of small business in our state.
“Labor’s stealth attempt to regulate duck hunting out of existence further damages recovery efforts for our cafes, pubs and accommodation providers.”