Shame on the Victorian government for ignoring the recommendations of its own inquiry – as well as appeals from more than 10,000 Australian voters – by continuing to support recreational duck hunting. This cruel and destructive activity is already prohibited in New South Wales, Queensland, and Western Australia, and it’s high time Victoria joined the 21st century and ended this bloodbath, too.
Every year in Victoria, around 300,000 waterbirds are blasted out of the sky, just for the sake of “sport”. For each bird killed outright, another is wounded and left to die slowly and in agony.
Ducks are individuals who feel pain and fear, like all animals, and hundreds of thousands of them have experienced painful, protracted deaths at the hands of amateur hunters. We urge everyone who is outraged by this myopic decision to go vegan so that no animals suffer and die for their convenience.
Many hunters say they only kill animals 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.
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 stance.