Within just a few short days of the commencement of Victoria’s duck-hunting season for 2022, threatened bird species are already being killed illegally.
First, an Australasian shoveler – a member of a threatened species – was taken to the Wildlife Victoria triage tent on opening day. The duck’s injuries were so severe that she had to be euthanised.
A few days later, a baby great crested grebe – also not on the game species list – was found shot in the back of the head and across his back.
Tragic as they may be, these deaths aren’t surprising.
In 2020, the Victoria Game Management Authority surveyed 5,000 duck hunters and found that only one in five was able to answer a question about identifying “game” ducks correctly.
Jo-Anne McArthur | We Animals
Deadliest Season Since 2018
Despite calls to cancel the 2022 season from Wildlife Victoria and RSPCA Victoria, hunters can shoot ducks for 89 days this year, making it the longest season since 2018.
And for each bird killed, another is wounded and will die slowly in terror and agony. When mother birds are shot, ducklings – who are dependent on them for the first two months of their lives – die from cold or starvation or are eaten by predators.
Wildlife Victoria has also found several abandoned swan nests with eggs, left by parents who took off in fright at the sound of gunshots.
Waterbirds Are Already in Decline
The latest Aerial Survey of Waterbirds in Eastern Australia showed that overall numbers are well below long-term averages, as six out of eight game species show significant long-term declines.
It’s time to stop permitting this senseless slaughter simply to appease a small group of shooters who think it’s fun to harm wildlife. Let Premier Daniel Andrews know how you feel by signing this petition – it takes less than a minute.