This petition is addressed to the Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews. The Buddhist Council of Victoria invites like-minded individuals and organisations to join with us in asking for a permanent end to duck shooting in Victoria.
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The recreational shooting of native waterbirds was banned in WA in 1990, in NSW in 1995 and in Queensland in 2005 by other state Labor governments. The brutality and cruelty inflicted on Australia’s native waterbirds is unacceptable and barbaric, especially by a Labor government in the 21st century. We join with the RSPCA in saying it is not clear why a state government which prides itself on being progressive had not banned the annual slaughter. We note that in 2022 the Game Management Authority identified a death toll of 265,567 ducks and an estimate of up to another 105,000 ducks wounded but not killed. We also note that many species of waterbirds are endangered and that their numbers are in decline.
We ask that duck shooting be permanently banned and not commence on 16 March 2023 as currently scheduled.
— End of petition —
Petition delivered to Victorian Parliament 23/02/23
The BCV petition against duck shooting with 13,500 signatures was delivered to Parliament on Thursday, 23 February 2023, by Ven. Thich Phuoc Tan. Two Members of Parliament received the petition, Gary Maas MP and Steve McGhie MP, the Cabinet Secretary. The petition had approximately 4,500 signatures from Victoria representing 442 postcodes, indicating the widespread nature of the support for the end of duck shooting.
The following day, Friday 24 February 2023, it was announced that the duck shooting season would go ahead, however it was limited to approximately half the number of weeks from 2022 and the daily kill was reduced from 10 ducks to 4 ducks per person. The shooting hours were also reduced. An inquiry into duck shooting has been announced which will take public submissions. The BCV will prepare a submission for the inquiry.
The reduced nature of this year’s shooting season and the announcement of the inquiry are all signs of progress. We hope that our petition has contributed to this progress.
New regulations: https://www.gma.vic.gov.au/hunting/duck
Waterbirds hunting season starts in 26 April 2023
- There is no justification for killing and injuring native waterbirds for recreation. It is cruel and unnecessary.
- Duck hunting wounds at least one in every four ducks shot
- shotgun cartridges, when fired, create a spray of pellets which often miss a bird’s vital organs. Leading to a slow and a painful death.
- shotgun shot into a flock of birds it is common for many birds to be wounded, not killed.
- At least *25% of native ducks shot are wounded (not killed outright).
*An Australian study (Norman & Powell, 1981)
- 12% of captured ducks have shotgun *pellets in their bodies. *An Australian study(Norman, 1976)
- waterbirds shot killings are not humane
- We don’t know how many non-target birds are shot or how many wounded birds are either not retrieved or – once retrieved – not killed humanely.
- No justification for killing and injuring native waterbirds purely for recreation. It is cruel and unnecessary.
The only way to protect birds from the inevitable suffering caused by recreational duck hunting, is to ban it.
Not all its quacked up to be… The truth about duck hunting
Published on 7 February 2023
As calls for a duck hunting ban in Victoria grow louder and research indicates that two in three Victorians (66%) oppose it, it’s timely to bust some of the myths surrounding this controversial activity.
Separate studies recently completed by Kantar Public and RedBridge Group show Victorians hold concerns for native ducks, that regional and metropolitan views are similar and a ban would have negligible impact on regional economies.
MYTH – A duck hunting ban is only supported by people in metropolitan areas.
- In research conducted by Kantar Public, of metropolitan residents 68% are opposed to duck hunting, while 60% oppose it in regional Victoria.
- Interestingly, in a study completed by RedBridge Group, 29% of respondents who strongly support hunting also strongly support or support a ban on duck hunting, suggesting the broader hunting community agrees the activity is not viable.
MYTH – A duck hunting ban will negatively impact the economy.
- Estimates show that only 11,549 hunters hunted in 2022, meaning only 0.17% of the Victorian population is actively participating in duck hunting and a regular season runs for around 12 weeks a year showing that a ban will have negligible impact on the economy due to the extremely limited participation rate.
MYTH – Ducks do not suffer as a result of hunting.
- Shotgun use results in many ducks being wounded and suffering before they die. Shotguns fire a cluster of pellets and rely upon hitting vital organs to cause death; however, as there are always open spaces in the pellet cluster, many ducks are hit with shot but are not killed outright. That is, wings and other body tissues and organs may be hit causing injury but not death. Thus, large scale suffering is inevitable. Some ducks will drown, whilst others may be unable to fly, or feed, thus leaving them exposed to starvation, the elements, or predators.
- The Game Management Authority has acknowledged the duck wounding rate could be between 6-40%. When using the reported total harvest figure of 262,567 ducks from the 2022 season, this equates to between 15,700 and 105,000 ducks being wounded and not killed outright in the 2022 season.
MYTH – Best practice hunting and the current rules are well understood.
- Research commissioned by the GMA in 2020 relating to hunter knowledge showed that when asked about dispatching downed ducks, only 13% of respondents answered correctly.
- When asked about identifying game ducks, only 20% of respondents answered correctly.
- When asked about minimising wounding, only 37% of respondents answered correctly.
MYTH – People won’t holiday in regional Victoria if they can’t participate in duck hunting.
- Research by RedBridge group found duck hunting negatively impacts on people’s decisions
relating to holiday destinations. 80% of respondents strongly opposed and 65% of those opposed
to duck hunting said they would definitely or probably avoid holidaying where duck hunting occurs.
- The research undertaken by RedBridge shows that 80% of respondents strongly opposed to duck
hunting said that seeing and experiencing native wildlife was somewhat or very important when
choosing a holiday destination in Victoria.
MYTH – Hunting of native ducks is sustainable.
- Data from the annual Eastern Australian Waterbird Aerial Survey shows long-term declines in game bird species abundance.
- Total waterbird abundance remained well below the long-term average, the 11th lowest in 40 years.
- Most game species of ducks had abundances well below long-term averages.
- Six out of eight game duck species continued to show significant long-term declines.
MYTH – Hunters won’t spend money in regional Victoria if there is a duck hunting ban.
- The 2020 “Economic contribution of recreational hunting in Victoria” DJPR report showed that
- 96% of hunters indicated that they participate in other outdoor recreation activities, all of which
- provide the same personal benefits as they listed for their reasons for going hunting. These
- activities include camping, recreational target shooting, fishing and four-wheel driving, all of which take place in regional Victoria.
MYTH – Climate outlook data supports sustainable duck hunting.
- Rainfall in Victoria has decreased by approximately 10 per cent during the cool season months
(April to October) over the past 22 years. This rainfall directly impacts the creation and
maintenance of waterbird habitat.
- Australia’s future climate projections show further decreases in cool season rainfall and longer
periods of drought on average across regions of southern and eastern Australia. Therefore, duck
hunting contributes to the pressure already placed on native duck populations due to the changing climate.
The RSPCA is opposed to the recreational hunting of ducks as it causes unnecessary injury, pain,suffering, distress, or death to the animals involved.