Pi News –
The government has announced it will not ban duck hunting in Victoria.
Animal rights activists called the decision inhumane and argued that some species were under great pressure, while others were at risk of extinction.
Victorian Environment Minister Steve Dimopoulos confirmed the controversial decision today
“The Victoria community has different views on this and we’ve tried to listen to all of them,” Dimopoulos said.
“We accept that duck hunting is a legitimate activity enjoyed by thousands of Victorians and we want to make it safe, responsible and sustainable.”
The government plans to change hunting laws to reduce the impact on endangered species, including tougher penalties for hunters who break the law.
Mandatory training is also being introduced and resources will be increased for the Victorian Game Management Authority.
Dimopoulos said the government’s approach focuses on animal welfare.
“Eligibility has been proven to be one of the best factors in alleviating animal welfare issues,” he said.
“Most (duck hunters) are not bad-tempered hunters.”
The recommendations were made by a nine-person committee that found duck hunting had “acute animal welfare” problems and contributed to the loss of large areas of public land.
Animal Justice MP Georgie Purcell today said the investigation was a waste of taxpayers’ money.
He said the decision ended a “productive, proactive relationship” with the government
“It’s just a shame,” he said.
“Duck shooters make up less than one per cent of the Victorian population and half of them are active. This is a terrible decision to appease a dwindling minority.
“I hope they pay the price in the election.”
Western Australia, New South Wales and Queensland have already banned duck hunting.
At the time of the investigation, members of the state opposition and the Shooting, Fishermen and Farmers Party called the results of the investigation “a complete sham”.
Those who support the practice say it will improve the economy in regional Victoria, with the season usually running from March or April to May each year.
Animal rights activists say they have repeatedly witnessed illegal behavior by duck shooters, including failure to kill injured birds immediately, exceeding bag limits, and shooting at protected and endangered species. have repeatedly claimed to have witnessed incidents such as being shot as well as participating in the inhumane practice known as “turning”.
RSPCA Victoria chief executive Liz Walker said she was disappointed by the government’s decision.
“What you have to worry about is always that the injury rate of ducks is so high,” he said.
“We know that these species are under tremendous pressure, long-term decline, and some of them are even at risk of extinction.
“I can assure you that the RSPCA will not stop protecting.”