Tick tock: clock ticking on duck hunting decision

Published on 15 January 2024

With the Allan Government due to make an announcement on the future of duck hunting by February, RSPCA Victoria, Animals Australia and Wildlife Victoria have released new data showing low numbers of duck hunters in marginal electorates compared to people who actively support the three animal organisations, which are united in calling for a ban.

 Electorate Labor’s 2022 winning margin Duck hunting licenses Wildlife Victoria Supporters# Animals Australia Supporters+ RSPCA Victoria Supporters^ Average number of animal welfare supporters*
Bass 202 308 354 1106 926 795
Bayswater 3,603 113 568 1035 1608 1069
Bendigo East 9,352 543 364 804 1071 746
Bendigo West 7,163 337 301 1111 296 725
Glen Waverley 2,951 84 397 975 1775 1049
Hastings 1,116 219 421 753 1273 816
Melton

 

3,457 269 217 578 704 499
Ripon 2,535 530 244 1347 628 740
Pakenham 307 88 267 421 771 486
Yan Yean 3,365 230 186 805 1267 753

*Averaged number of active supporters from Wildlife Victoria, Animals Australia and RSPCA Victoria. Figures in bold are those that are higher than the 2022 winning margin.

^Donors who have donated within the last five years.

#Donors who have donated within the last five years and active volunteers.

+Donors and supporters who have taken action within the last five years.

The government had six months to adopt or respond to the formal recommendation of a ban in the tabled report from the Select Committee Inquiry into Recreational Native Bird Hunting.

This deadline is soon approaching, and the lives of Victoria’s native waterbirds and quail are hanging in the balance.

RSPCA Victoria’s CEO Dr Liz Walker said: “The Select Committee made its recommendation to ban native bird hunting based on clear and considerable evidence and we cannot see any reason why the Allan Government would not accept and implement that recommendation.”

“The injury, pain, suffering, distress and death of our native birds through hunting is completely unacceptable and data shows the majority of Victorians agree.

“The evidence is there, and other states like Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia banned it up to three decades ago with people still able to enjoy the great outdoors.

“Anything other than a decision to ban duck and quail hunting for good will simply leave us asking: why is Victoria different?”

Animals Australia CEO Glenys Oogjes said “The sheer volume of feedback sent to politicians by our members each year that duck shooting continues, reflects the general sentiment of most Victorians who care about Australian wildlife.”

“The unavoidable fear, wounding and suffering caused by recreational shooting is unacceptable in 2024, and the community is making this very clear to MPs.

“The level of support we know that exists in the community for a ban should embolden Labor to make the right decision, and the kindest.”

Wildlife Victoria CEO Lisa Palma urged the Allan Government to focus on the evidence when making its decision.

“Wildlife Victoria urges the Victorian government to respect the outcome of due process and the Parliamentary Inquiry. We are asking the government to listen to the evidence and the wishes of the Victorian people, and to prioritise compassion and conservation of our native waterbirds and quail above hunting as a “sport”,” Ms Palma said.

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

Given this clear evidence, and the precedent set by Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia up to three decades ago, it’s hoped the Victorian Government will ban native bird hunting.

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