Tens of thousands of ducks wounded in 2024 season

Published on 6 June 2024

Tens of thousands of Victoria’s native birds have been wounded during the 2024 season despite the Select Committee Inquiry into Native Bird Hunting Arrangements recommending a ban.

RSPCA Victoria CEO Dr Liz Walker said the lack of progress in wounding reduction prior to the season was deeply concerning.

“While we’re devastated the season progressed at all, our main concern has always been the unacceptably high wounding rate,” Dr Walker said.

“This season, these injuries mean thousands of ducks and quail are no longer able to fly, or feed, and they’ve been left exposed to starvation, the elements, or predators, and experienced large-scale suffering.

“Prior to the 2024 season commencing no measures were put in place to help reduce these impacts.

“While we still hope this will be the last duck and quail hunting season in Victoria, if it is to continue, work must be done before the 2025 season to reduce the suffering of our native birds.”

States such as Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia all banned native bird hunting up to three decades ago with people still enjoying the great outdoors, and calls for a duck hunting ban in Victoria have grown louder every year, with independent research indicating two in three people across the state (66%) oppose it.

The Select Committee’s recommendation of a ban on native bird hunting was formed after consideration of extensive evidence including:

  • the suffering caused to waterbirds through unavoidable wounding,
  • longitudinal data indicating species decline that provides clear evidence that hunting is unsustainable, and
  • the majority community support for an end to native bird hunting in this state

RSPCA is opposed to the recreational hunting of ducks and quail as it causes unnecessary injury, pain, suffering, distress or death to the animals involved.

For more information, visit RSPCA Knowledgebase here.

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