Victoria’s ‘progressive’ Labor government again greenlights bird cruelty, regional loss of tourism

Wood-duck_courtesy of Eleanor Dilley_RVOTDS

DESPITE INCREASING NUMBERS of Victorians demanding an end to it, another recreational native bird shoot has been approved in Victoria, causing outrage around the state.

ABOVE: Wood Duck, photo courtesy Eleanor Dilley.

Regional Victorians Opposed to Duck Shooting inc (RVOTDS) say the Saturday announcement seems a “pretty gutless” attempt to keep the unpopular announcement under the radar.

Announced Saturday February 26, the bird shoot will start March 16 and run for “three long months”, 25% of the year, at “so many thousands of public lakes, streams, rivers, wetlands, waterways and reservoirs that no government authority has been able to estimate whether they number closer to 8,000 or 15,000, let alone signpost or monitor them”. Many shooting areas are near family homes, and most are near other recreational users.

“The Andrews government has again shown it is more concerned with a minority group of bird shooters, than regional residents and businesses” a spokesperson for RVOTDS said.

No social / economic impact studies have ever been done on anyone other than a small group of shooters. No cost-benefit analysis has been done to account for the cost to Victorians of compliance monitoring, or lost tourism, of stock being sent through fences or the inability to work from home because of shooting. Most local businesses will tell you — duck shooting does not bring the bucks. The government’s — or should we say shooters’ — propaganda is just that — propaganda to try and justify an unpopular destructive activity.”

“We challenge Mr. Andrews to bring his family to stay by a waterway in regional Victoria between March 16 and June 13. It’s time he experienced the carnage he condones.”

Ongoing polls* show most Victorians — particularly regional — want duck shooting banned. Less than half of one percent of the population take part in this pastime which other states banned long ago due to cruelty. 

At least one-in-four of the tens of thousands of birds shot each season are wounded only, flapping off to die slow painful deaths elsewhere. In fact, Game Management Authority put it at one-in-three — not that they’re doing much about it. If this cruelty happened in an abattoir it would be shut down”.

In an election year, questions hang in the community about whether the major parties are listening to constituents or favoring the whims of their financial donors.

“When our rural communities are crying out for opportunities to benefit from the booming trend of nature-based tourism which is hampered by shooting, stuck in the fifties is where this government is leaving us. Victorians deserve better.”


*Recent polls include UComms January 2021 and RSPCA’s poll.

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